Manila outran and outgunned Muntinlupa to give the erstwhile unbeaten team its first loss in the MPBL Datu Cup.
On Wednesday night, the Robust Energy Capsule-backed Stars blasted the Angelis Resort-supported Cagers, 100-86, in the MPBL Datu Cup at the Muntinlupa Sports Complex.
The Stars unleashed their deadly fast break game and out-sprinted their rivals on their way to scoring 32 points, a new league record. The Cagers, unbeaten after eight games, came out flat and scored only two points on transition and the disparity itself led to Muntinlupa’s first loss in nine meetings.
Five players finished in double figures for the Stars led by ex-pro Marvin Hayes, who had 18 markers. Fellow ex-PBA player Riel Cervantes contributed 17 and spitfire guard Chris Bitoon produced 16.
Young athletic player Aris Dionisio continued to show his overall potential, unleashing another double-double effort for Manila, which improved its win-loss record to 9-2. The 6'4”, former PSBA Jaguar finished with 15 points and 20 rebounds, while Jygruz Laude chipped in 13.
PBA legend Philip Cezar summed up the team’s performance in this early stage of the tournament.
“Itong team namin, kapag ang kalaban hindi gaanong kalakasan, may tendency na mag-relax,” added Cezar, who won championships as a player of Crispa, Great Taste and Ginebra. “Pero kapag malalakas 'yung kalaban, gumaganda rin ang laro.”
Earlier, Pasay scored its first back-to-back victories 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, after outlasting Imus, 79-75.
It was only the fourth win in 11 games for the Voyagers, but picked up their second in a row after getting another solid performance from Jan Jamon.
Imus, which suffered its second consecutive loss after winning four in a row, slipped to 5-5 card.