The General Santos City Warriors brought down the Imus Bandera, 79-73, at Imus City Sports Complex, Cavite, Saturday night for their first win in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Datu Cup.
Controlling the boards, the Warriors surged ahead, 63-50, early in the fourth quarter, then quelled the Bandera’s last-ditch assault to level their win-loss record at 1-1.
Imus fell to 0-2 to the disappointment of the loud, standing-room-only crowd.
Former Jose Rizal University player Paulo Pontejos injected life into Imus’ cause with 5 straight points to make 76-73, but the Warriors held on behind veteran center Marlon Basco’s free throws.
GenSan coach Jose Ramon Pido banked on unheralded Leomar Losentes to frustrate coach Jerry Codiñera and his Imus crew.
The 5-foot-11 Losentes, a 34-year-old star of leagues back home, tallied a game-high 20 points and 4 assists to emerge as player of the game.
Showing that he can still be effective at 40, the 6-foot-5 Basco added 16 points and 12 rebounds for the Warriors, who represent MPBL founder Manny Pacquiao’s hometown.
Pontejos topscored for Imus with 15 points, followed by Cavite leagues legend Ian Melencio with 11 and veteran slotman Jerwin Gaco with 10.
The Warriors’ gang rebounding was so effective that they tallied 21 second-chance points as against 8 for the Bandera.
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