SSC-R Golden Stags 94 – MU Cardinals 70
The San Sebastian Golden Stags needed a big win after a tough loss in their last game. They got that bounce back game against the young Mapua Cardinals. With RK Ilagan suspended for the first round, the Stags got their firepower from another source. Alvin Capobres stepped up to scored 17 points in the second half en route to a 21-point outing. He got help from one of the Baste Big Three in Allyn Bulanadi who scored 14 points and grabbed six boards.
The Stags looked sharp early on as they executed their offense cleanly. Bulanadi led the way but got timely baskets from Capobres and Arjan Dela Cruz. The Stags ran out to an early 20-9 lead. The Cardinals refused to be blown out early. They used a total team effort in the second period to get back into the game. Unfortunately, the young Cards couldn’t contain the Stags any longer.
The game was tied 43-all early in the third period when San Sebastian went on a 14-2 run to rebuild their double-digit lead. Capobres played big during the third quarter push, scoring 13 points in that span. He got a lot of help from the usual suspects as Bulanadi, Michael Calisaan and Ian Valdez all contributed. Capobres’ trey to end the quarter gave the stags a 17-point lead. They weren’t challenged after that.
LPU Pirates 77 – CSB Blazers 65
The Benilde Blazers did everything they could to try and top the Lyceum Pirates. But the Pirates were just too relentless as they earned their seventh straight win to open Season 94. CJ Perez had 22 points, 12 rebounds and five steals while Mike Nzeusseu finished with 16 points, 13 rebounds and five blocks.
The Blazers actually opened the game strong. They jumped out to a nine-point lead with Justin Gutang and Clement Leutcheu played well in the first few minutes. Benilde couldn’t keep up the pace. The Pirates went on a 6-0 run to get back in the game. The rest of the first half was a tight contest as Lyceum tried to constantly pull away but Benilde was alway staying within striking distance.
Yankie Haruna scored key baskets to give Benilde a four-point lead midway through the third period. That woke the Pirates up. CJ Perez led Lyceum on a 13-0 run to retake the lead and zoom ahead by nine points. The Pirates forced several turnovers and those turned into momentum baskets for the team. Nzeusseu started the run with an and-one coast-to-coast layup. Perez added two treys to help build the lead. The Blazers tried to cut the deficit down late in the game but the scrappy Pirates secured extra possessions to seal the win.
CSJL Knights 88 – AU Chiefs 70
The Letran Knights had a strong finishing kick at the end of quarters to pull away from the AU Chiefs. This is the Knights’ fourth straight win after a loss in their first game. Six players scored in double figures for Letran led by Larry Muyang’s 16 points. Jerrick Balanza had 14 while JP Calvo added 13. Bong Quinto, Christian Fajarito and Bonbon Batiller scored 11 points apiece.
It was a close first half between both teams. Rence Alcoriza tried to lead the Chiefs to a big lead in the second period when he scored 10 points during that stretch. But Quinto powered the Knights back into the game with a 10-2 run to end the first half. Letran held a slim one-point lead heading into the second half of the game. The Knights rode on that momentum as Balanza came alive in the third period. He scored 11 points to lead Letran to a 13-3 run to close the third quarter. Holding on to a double digit lead, Letran continued to pound the ball inside to finish the game.
The Knights dominated the paint. They outscored the Chiefs 42-26 in the shaded area and limited Arellano to just 33 rebounds. Letran grabbed 50 boards with the twin towers Muyang and Fajarito combining for 21 rebounds.