Up by 25 points at the end of the third quarter, UNO-R Red Taiwan Shabu-Shabu opted to rest its import , Cameeronian Landry Zanjo in the fourth quarter as the team cruised to its second straight win at the expense of Dawn Rent-A-Car, 107-65, in the Negros Basketball Association (NBA) President’s Cup at Bacolod Tay Tung High School Po Hang Gym yesterday.
In the first game, Supreme ABF/Silver Graces Construction also routed University of St. La Salle/Sportswear, 100-80, while Colegio de Sta. Ana-Victorias bounced back from an opening day loss to UNO-R with an emphatic 79-65 victory over Melfern.
Despite sitting on the bench the whole fourth quarter, Zanjo remained as the top scorer for UNO-R with 20 points, 16 of them in the first half.
Stepping up in place of Zanjo was Leonard Mustre, the silent gunner of UNO-R, whose 18-point production last night all came from the 3-point area.
“With our players playing well, it was not necessary to field Zanjo in the final quarter. So far, we are having a good start in the tournament,” UNO-R head coach Gerome Aledron said.
He refused to be overwhelmed with the good performance of Zanjo in their first two games, saying it is too early to make any speculation.
Aledron said all the teams are tough, particularly, the ESJ/Fyr Fyter/YBAC mentored by coach Dennis Tumayan with its mix of former varsity players from UNO-R Rams, USLS Stingers, and STI-West Negros University.
The UNO-R head coach added that the tournament also serves as a pre-NOPSSCEA tune up for the Rams and he does not want his players to be dependent on the 24-year-old Cameroonian big man.
Aside from Mustre, Marvin Sanico and Gerard Dipol finished in double digits for Red Taiwan, with Sanico tallying 15 points and Dipol with 10.
Dawn Rent-A-Car, with former WNU Mustang Alfie Villariza in its lineup, was led by Magbanua with 17 points.
Meanwhile, after trailing 16-22 in the first quarter, Supreme ABF Silvergraces exploded with 32 points in the second canto for a 48-36 lead at halftime against USLS.
Cameroonian forward Frederick Elombi from Cebu led the surge with 11 points in the second quarter after scoring two free throws in the opening minutes. He finished the game with 31 points.
Jude Junto topscored for the Raymund Concha-mentored USLS with 16 points as Rey Jalapa added 12 and Anthony Antipatia and Jeffrey Abordo with 10 points each.
In the second game, Carl Magbanua unleashed four triples in the fourth quarter to lead CSA-V/Silver Dragon past Melfern. Jeffrey Manday, who also had three treys to his credit in the second half had 19 points.
Melfern, who managed to overtake CSA-V at 57-56 with 6:67 left in the quarter, was led by Ryan Maningo and Matt Deles with 12 points each.
Games in the NBA President’s Cup will resume this weekend with Duke Jay Game Farm going up against CSA-V Silver Dragon in the first game on Saturday followed by the matchup between Dawn Rent-A-Car and Supreme ABF Silvergraces Const.
Games on Sunday will be between Duke Jay and UNO-R in the first game at 2 p.m., followed by the CSA-V vs. USLS clash in the second game, and Melfern against Silvergraces in the 5:30 p.m. schedule.*NAB
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