The Laguna Heroes relied on Jai Reyes to beat the Pasig Pirates, 83-75, in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Datu Cup at Pasig Sports Center on Tuesday.
The 5-foot-7 Reyes ripped the Pirates’ defense apart with game-highs 21 points and 11 rebounds for player of the game honors.
“Kung kelan tumanda, saka nakondisyon,” said Reyes, 31, the former Ateneo de Manila University varsity player.
Pouncing on the absence of Ronjay Enrile of the Pirates, Reyes powered the Heroes to their first win after yielding to the Zamboanga Valientes on June 14.
“My veterans requested that they be allowed to play freely in the early going and they delivered,” said Laguna coach Alex Angeles, as Pasig dropped to 0-2.
Former PBA pros Denok Miranda and Michael Mabulac conspired with Reyes in giving the Krah Pipes-backed Heroes a 60-47 spread in the third quarter.
The Pirates nibbled at the deficit and came within 64-61 at the end of the third quarter, but Reyes pushed the Heroes ahead, 73-63 en route to the comfortable win.
Meanwhile, the MPBL goes to Balanga city Wednesday for a doubleheader at Bataan People’s Center.
The Navotas Clutch and the Caloocan Supremos, both toting 1-0 slates, feature in the 7 p.m. opener, while Rajah Cup champion Batangas Athletics (1-0) also aim for the top when they tangle with the Bataan Risers (0-1) at 9 p.m.
(For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.)