Manila halts Muntinlupa’s streak in MPBL
MANILA, Philippines – The Manila Stars finally put a halt to the Muntinlupa Cagers ‘ win run in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Datu Cup Wednesday night.
Christopher Bitoon, Marvin Hayes and Vence Laude presided over the Stars’ fastbreak rampage in the fourth quarter which saw them pull away, 100-86, from a tight 77-75 count to tally their ninth win in 11 outings
Bitoon scored 10, Hayes 9 and Laude 8 as they outscored the entire Stars crew in the fourth quarter, 27-20. Hayes wound up with 18 points, Reil Cervantes 17, Bitoon 16 and Laude 13.
It was 6-foot-4 beanpole Aristotle Dionisio, however, who carried most of the offensive load for the Stars with 15 points, 20 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals and 3 blocks.
With Bitoon as sparkplug, the Stars of coach Philip Cezar scored a league-record 32 fastbreak points as against just two for the Cagers, who tasted their first defeat under new coach Aldin Ayo.
Former Muntinlupa mentor Aldrin Morante, who steered the Cagers to seven straight wins before being replaced by the multi-titled Ayo, moved over to the Pampanga Lanterns.
Cezar said beating the Cagers ‘ was a difficult task.
“Mahirap. Kasi ang feeling namin ang kalaban ay Ginebra, “said Cezar, referring to the hometown crowd who always supports the Cagers at Muntinlupa Sports Complex.
Allan Mangahas tallied 23 points, 11 assists, 5 rebounds and 4 steals for Muntinlupa; followed by Chito Jayme with 17 points, Felix Apreku with 15 points and 10 rebounds and Dave Moralde with 16 points.
Earlier, Jan Jamon again played hero as the Pasay Voyagers bested the Imus Banderas, 79-75, to post their first back-to-back win in the league.
The 6-foot-2 forward from the Emilio Aguinaldo College Generals scored six of his team’s last 10 points en route to a game-high 27, lifting the Voyagers to a 4-6 record.
Jamon, who was named best player of the game for the second straight game, was supported by Yvan Ludovice with 23 points.
The Banderas, who got 16 points from Jomari Sollano and 14 from Genmar Bragais, dropped to 5-5.