MPBL: Brilliant Dionisio seals Manila win over Bicol

Bob Guerrero on Sep 08, 2019 09:35 AM
 MPBL: Brilliant Dionisio seals Manila win over Bicol
"Pinaghandaan ko ang gabing ito. Past few games kase parang wala akong inaambag. Nagfocus ako ngayon para manalo." - Aris Dionisio

A last-second block by Aris Dionisio was the exclamation point of the Manila Stars - Frontrow's 76-73 victory over the Bicol Volcanoes - LCC Malls on Saturday night in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Lakan Season.

The crowd at the Albay Astrodome in Legaspi City was hoping for a last-second miracle three from Jolas Guerrero with their team down 76-73 and with just seconds remaining. But Dionisio blanked the attempt to secure the win and lift Manila to 10-2. The play also ended Bicol's 3-game win streak.

"Pinaghandaan ko ang gabing ito. Past few games kase parang wala akong inaambag. Nagfocus ako ngayon para manalo,"said the 6'5" former St. Clare Saint. Dionisio contributed 4 blocks and 15 points in the victory that means Bicol has now lost both of their home games this year.

The Volcanoes led 33-31 at the half but Manila reeled off a 9-0 run early in the third quarter to seize the initiative. Bicol were down by as much as 10 points at one point and were also concerned with the early foul trouble of forward Hafer Mondragon, who picked up his fourth halfway through the period.

But through the production of Ronjay Buenafe, Guerrero, and Raffy Gusi, the home team were only down 59-56 at the start of the fourth.

The final segment of the game saw an aggressive Manila team troop to the foul line an astonishing 20 times, making 13 of those attempts. Overall Manila took 47 free throws and were successful on 31, as opposed to Bicol's 13 out of 21 clip.

Gusi heated up and scored nine of his team-high 15 as the Bicolanos worked to keep up with Manila's persistent scoring from the stripe. A Chris Lalata lay-up with 2:51 left brought Bicol to within one, 74-73, and set up a nervous finish for both offenses.

Ronnie Matias restored the three-point advantage for the Manilenos with two free throws with a minute and a half left. That set the stage for Dionisio's defensive gem as time ran out.

Bicol are now 8-6 in the standings.

In the appetizer to the main game the Caloocan Supremos - Victory Liner stopped Gensan Warriors - Burlington's eight-game win streak with a decisive 79-70 win.

Almond Vosotros was once again a stud for the Monumento Boys with 24 points and 7 rebounds as the Supremos improve to 7-6.

Caloocan led 40-35 at the half.

In the third quarter the Supremos pulled away with an 11-0 surge that featured a Vosotros triple and a Rene Pacquiao alley-oop that gave them a 59-47 lead.

John Raymundo and Marlon Basco kept Burlington within reach in the fourth quarter but J Escalambre's two-handed dunk with just under 5 minutes remaining meant Caloocan enjoyed a 74-62 cushion and helped set the foundation for the victory.

Robby Celiz led Gensan with 13 points while Raymundo and Mikey Williams had 11 apiece. Gensan drops to 10-3.

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