MPBL: Gen San deals San Juan first loss
REIGNING champion San Juan isn’t invincible after all and on Friday night, General Santos City proved it when it gave the Knights their first ever loss in the MPBL Lakan Season.
The Warriors turned back the Knights, 97-91, at then Muntinlupa Sports Complex as Rob Celiz and Mike Williams combined forces even as Pamboy Raymundo and John Orbeta also clustered crucial baskets down the stretch.
A PBA journeyman, Celiz knocked in a career-high 27 points while Williams added 23 as the Burlington-backed Warriors picked up their seventh straight win under head coach Rich Alvarez.
Alvarez, who kept un unblemished coaching record in the fastest growing regional amateur basketball league put up by Senator Manny Pacquiao with PBA legend and former MVP Kenneth Duremdes serving as commissioner, helped Gen San in notching its ninth win in 11 games and fortifying its hold of the second spot of the southern division of this tournament.
Despite suffering their first loss of the tournament, the Go For Gold-backed Knights remained as the solo leader in this event with a 10-1 win-loss record.
The Warriors fought back from 15 points down, 45-30, late in the second period.
A 17-4 spurt in the third period allowed the Warriors to inch closer, 56-55, as they set up an exciting wind up from there.
Celiz then scored the game’s last six points to cap the Warriors’ strong finish.
Also pulling off a come from behind win was Bicol, which outlasted Muntinlupa, 90-87.
The expansion team Volcanoes rallied from 19 points down before turning the tables on the host team Cagers, who paraded with a new playing coach in Dave Moralde.
Bicol secured its second consecutive win and in the process, improved its win-loss record to 7-5 to stay at sixth spot of the southern division.
Mindoro edged SOCCSKSARGEN, 91-87, as Francis Camacho ended up with a career-high 32 points.