MPBL: Cunanan scores 20 to lead Imus to impressive home win
Bob Guerrero on Dec 17, 2019 09:39 AM
"Sabi ni coach dumepensa lang kami ng maayos at yung opensa, darating." - Jojo Cunanan
San Juan 20-3
Quezon City 9-15
Nueva Ecija 5-16
The Imus Bandera Luxxe Slim put an end to their six-game losing streak by outplaying Navotas Uni-Pak, 86-71, in Monday night's main game of the Chooks To Go Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Lakan Season at the Imus City Sports Complex.
The visitors were without forward Jhong Bondoc, who watched the game in street clothes from the bench. Imus exploited his absence brilliantly, out-assisting their foes 31-13 and never really looking like they would lose.
"Sabi ni coach dumepensa lang kami ng maayos at yung opensa, darating," said Jojo Cunanan, who copped best player of the game honors with a 20-point night highlighted by six triples from nine attempts.
Led by Jeric Nacpil's 12 points, Luxxe Slim carved out a 50-33 lead at the half. A variety of Navoteños got on the scoresheet in the third and fourth quarters but Cunanan dropped three triples, two in the fourth, as Imus skated to an easy win in front of their fans to go to 6-19.
The Bandera played their second game in three days, losing to Biñan on Saturday. Navotas falls to 5-20 despite 11 points from Osama Abdurasad and 10 from Kojak Melegrito.
Imus were also without their talisman, Gerald Anderson, who had prior commitments and missed a rare Imus home game in their newly-renovated arena.
In the second game, Bacolod Master Sardines took down the Bicol Volcanoes LCC Stores, 76-72, in overtime.
Bacolod homegrown star Pao Javelona sent the game into the extension with a daring driving lay-up down the throat of the Bicolano defense with ninr ticks left for 70-70. There was exactly one field goal in overtime, a driving lay-up off the glass from Edgar Charcos that gave Master Sardines a 74-72 lead with 40 seconds remaining. After Volcano Alwyn Alday muffed a fast break lay-up, Javelona iced the game with two free throws. Ramil Tansingco led Bacolod with 15 points as the Sardine men go to 8-15.
Alday had a game-high 23 points for Bicol but LCC Stores shoots just 31% from the field and do themselves no favors in the playoff race, stumbling to 13-12.
The day began with the Iloilo United Royals shrugging off a gritty Rizal Xentro Malls Golden Coolers team, 71-65. The Royals led by as much as 16 in the third but the Golden Coolers hacked their way back into the game with the steady play of Rommel Saliente.
A three-pointer from Kelvin Gregorio pulled them to within six, 56-50, going into the final segment of the game. A Jordan Rios layup with just under four minutes meant Rizal had their nose in front, 63-62. But Jerson Prado scored four straight points and Al Tamsi converted a big triple for a 69-65 lead with a little over a minute to go. United ran out winners to improve to 15-8 despite the absence of center Jay Javelosa, who is out for four weeks with a broken hand. Tamsi led Iloilo with 16 points while Gregorio's 15 markers paced Xentro Malls, who drop to 6-17.