The new-look Basilan BRT Sumisip got their title defense off to a superb start as they beat the feisty Iligan Archangels, 78-75, in the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup 2nd conference opening day at the Pagadian City Gymnasium on Saturday.
The Peace Riders let loose in the final canto to build a 12-point lead, 73-61 with six minutes to go in the match. However, the Archangels then went on a 10-4 blast, capped by Lester Tamayo’s layup, to inch within four with 20.1 ticks left.
However, it was too little, too late as Cedric de Joya iced the game with a conversion from the charity stripe.
“I told them at the start of the fourth quarter to focus on the game, said Basilan coach Ron Jalmanzar in Tagalog, who called the shots for head coach Jinino Manansala.
Junjie Hallare exploded with 31 points on an efficient 14-of-23 shooting to go with six rebounds and two steals for Basilan.
Nikko Panganiban also came through with 17 points including two triples, while Med Salim did everything with six points, 12 rebounds, five assists, and a steal.
Only four Peace Riders from the champion team last conference are in the lineup in Hallare, Darwin Lunor, Ramz Latip, and Kim Saliddin.
Salo and Jack Hoyohoy led the balanced scoring of Iligan with 12 points apiece, the latter adding 14 rebounds. Kris Daguisonan chalked up 11 points, eight rebounds, and four assists, while Tamayo chimed in 10 points and 11 rebounds.