The San Sebastian Golden Stags trampled the competition in their first of the new season. Led by RK Ilagan, they dominated the JRU Heavy Bombers by 31 points, 82-51.
Ilagan caught fire in the third period, scoring 13 of his 25 points to help the Stags pull away. He drilled five three-pointers and dished out five assists in the game. Alvin Capobres added 16 points and six rebounds. Marq Dionisio finished with eight points as no Heavy Bomber finished in double-figures.
Ilagan was content to whip out passes in the first half. That was enough to help the Stags build a double-digit lead in the game. His only basket in the second quarter was a 30-foot bomb to beat the shot clock as the first half was winding down. But that was just a small sampling of what Ilagan would do in the third period.
He waxed hot to start the second half, scoring half of the team’s total output in the third period. Behind Ilagan’s output, San Sebastian outscored JRU 26-18 during that span to pull away for good. Ilagan closed the quarter with a three-pointer, turning away before the ball went through the hoop. The Stags cruised to the win at that point.
In the first game of the day, the CSB Blazers weathered a furious comeback by the EAC Generals to win their first assignment, 69-66.
James Pasturan led the Blazers with 19 points while Justin Gutang submitted a double-double effort with 17 points and 12 rebounds. JP Magullano led EAC with 18 points.
Gutang and Pasturan traded scoring explosions in the first half. Gutang set the tone with 10 points in the first period to carry the load for the Blazers. Pasturan followed Gutang’s lead with 12 points in the second quarter, as Benilde built a 17-point lead midway through the period. The Blazers settled for a safe 14-point lead heading into the second half.
The Generals chipped away at that deficit. They went on a 17-2 run spanning the third and fourth quarters to get to within two points. But the Blazers put up a strong defensive stand in the final two minutes. They prevented the Generals from scoring any more field goals to secure the tough win.
In the second game of the day, veteran Edgar Charcos took over for the UPHSD Altas to lead them to third first win. They took down a chippy Mapua Cardinals team, 80-78.
Charcos stepped up to score 16 points, grab eight rebounds and dish out five assists. Rey Peralta led the team with 20 points while Ben Adamos stepped into the starting center role and put up eight points and 10 rebounds. Warren Bonifacio led Mapua with 15 points.
Charcos took over late in the game to overcome a slow start by the team. The game was tied at 69 midway through the final period before Charcos led a game-ending run. He blitzed Mapua with a personal 8-0 run to put the Altas up by eight, 77-69. When Mapua threatened late in the game, Charcos drilled clutch shots from the line to keep them at bay.