Quezon City flexed its muscles in the first half to build an early separation before cruising to a blowout 87-69 victory over the Bataan Defenders in the Capitals’ debut Tuesday in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Anta Rajah Cup at the Bulacan Capitol Gymnasium.
Jay Collado led four other QC players in double figures with 18 points while Andrew Estrella debuted with a triple-double to spoil the 21-point explosion of Bataan’s ace scorer former PBA player Gary David.
Collado shot 8-of-15 from the fled and grabbed eight rebounds for the Capitals while Peejay Barua scattered 12 points. Estrella finished with 11 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists in 26 minutes of action while Jomar Santos and Hesed Gabo had 11 and 10 markers, respectively, for QC.
Meanwhile, home team Bulacan Kuyas ignited a blistering 17-0 run from the end of the first half until midway in the third quarter to rip the visiting squad Imus Bandera, 93-79, in the nightcap.
John Gonzales led Bulacan's second half assault that turned the Kuyas; 31-33 deficit in the second quarter to a 48-33 advantage with 6:14 remaining in the third period. Imus even trailed by 21 points and never got close.
Gonzales had 26 points while JR Taganas had a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds for the pre-season champions Kuyas, who fielded former PBA center Marlou Aquino. Aquino finished with four points - all from free throws, with a rebound and an assist in eight minutes of action.
John Rabe and Chestern Melencio scored 13 each for the Bandera.
The Capitals held a 44-25 lead at halftime that cushioned the 29-point third quarter explosion of Bataan sparked by David and James Castro, who had nine points each in the period.
QC held on to a double-digit lead in the fourth to claim the win and join other opening day winners Paranaque, Navotas and Batangas.
David shot 5-of-18 from the field and drilled 10 of his 12 free throws while grabbing seven boards. Castro scored 17, JC Penaflor had 12 while Arvie Bringas got six points and plucked 14 boards in a lost cause for Bataan.
Quezon City (87) –- Collado 18, Barua 12, Santos J. 11, Estrella 11, Gabo 10, Tayongtong 8, Abrigo 6, Mallari 4, Matias 4, Alday 3, Morillo 0, Cabangon 0, Castellano 0, Santos C. 0, Palma 0.
Bataan (69) –- David 21, Castro 17, Penaflor 10, Bangal 6, Bringas 6, Carlos 5, Macalinao 2, Lacsamana 2, Capuli C. 0, Capuli J. 0, Ebidag 0, Espuelas 0, Ignacio 0, Magno 0, Misa 0.
Quarter scores: 20-14; 44-25; 66-54, 87-69.
Bulacan (93) -- Gonzales 26, Taganas 13, Escosio 11, Dela Cruz 10, Monte 8, Villanueva 6, Baluyot 6, Aquino 4, Siruma 4, Martinez 3, Morcozo 2.
Imus (79) -- Melencio 13, Rabe 13, Daroya 10, Saitanan 9, Cabahug 8, Guiyab 6, Sarao 4, Monzon 4, Ong 4, Rivera 3, Asis 3, Diwa 2, Daguplo 0, Tajonera0.
Quarter scores: 18-14; 37-33; 65-46; 93-79.