Batangas, Caloocan bag 1st win in MPBL Datu Cup

Bandera (Mindanao) - - SPORT -

BATANGAS City Athletics-Tanduay showed they had more than enough firepower even without key players as they hacked out a 95-90 victory over the Quezon City CapitalsBlack Mamba while the Caloocan Supremos Longrich also barged into the win column in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) Datu Cup lastWednesday night at the Caloocan Sports Complex.

New acquisition Bong Galanza came up with an auspicious debut, firing 28 points on five of seven shooting from beyond the arc as the Athletics survived the absence of Val Acuña, Jhaymo Eguilos and Mon Rogado who were all sidelined by illness and injuries.

Deniece Villamor, the former Barangay Ginebra reserve, pumped in 22 points and 13 rebounds as he stepped up in the absence of Eguilos, while Jason Grimaldo, Tey Teodoro also delivered solid performances. — Games Today (Mall of Asia Arena) 4:30 p.m. Meralco vs Blackwater 7 p.m. NLEX vs Alaska Team Standings: Rain or Shine (7-1); Alaska (6-1); TNT (6-2); Meralco (5-2); Magnolia (4-4); GlobalPort (4-4); Columbian (4-5); San Mi g u e l B e e r (3-4); Phoenix (3-5); Barangay Ginebra (2-5); NLEX (2-6); Blackwater (1-8) ALASKA coach Alex Compton doesn’t want the team’s off-court issues stand in their way, especially that the Aces are riding on a hot streak.

“We just stay focused and not let ourselves get distracted,” said Compton. “We’re having a good run and hopefully we can keep it up.”

For the past six games, Vic Manuel has been carrying much of the load for the Aces and even set career highs in scoring for himself.

The NLEX defense should put premium on restricting the explosive Manuel if the Road Warriors want to remain in the hunt for a quarterfinals spot in tonight’s 2018 PBA Commissioner’s Cup elimination round at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

“He’s pretty phenomenal, he just went on,” said Compton, referring to Manuel’s 35-point effort where he scored his last 17 point in the fourth for a 103-99 win over the Magnolia Hotshots.

Since Alaska opened the conference with a loss against the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, the Aces have yet to taste another defeat despite the domestic problems hounding Calvin Abueva and Jeron Teng, who is recovering from stab wounds.

Abueva has been suspended by the Alaska management indefinitely for skipping their game against the GlobalPort Batang Pier two weeks ago and for missing the team’s practice sessions.

“He’s going through some personal issues and he’s trying to sort things out,” said Compton.

The Road Warriors have issues, too, with the loss of Kiefer Ravena to suspension and Kevin Alas to injury weighing heavily on the team.

They have lost critical back-to-back games, the previous one against the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings, and should sweep their remaining assignments to jack up their 2-6 record.

In the other game, Meralco would not want to suffer the same fate of the Hotshots when the Bolts tackle the Blackwater Elite, whose only victory in nine games came at Magnolia’s expense.

After sur v iv ing a rough matchup with the Phoenix Fuel Masters, the Bolts have jumped to a 5-2 record and is now within a game of securing at least a playoff for a quarterfinal berth. —

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