General Santos City —Host team General Santos City gave its proud son, eight-division world boxing champion and MPBL founder Manny Pacquiao, a fitting birthday gift with a home victory late Saturday night as the Warriors turned back the Navotas Clutch, 80-73, and bolstered their playoff chances in the Datu Cup at the Lagao Gymnasium here.
Leomar Losentes knocked in 11 of his 19 points in the fourth period while Delmar Mahinay poured in all of his 14 markers in the first half as the Warriors moved into a tie with the Parañaque Patriots at sixth to seventh places with the same 8-9 win-loss record.
Navotas saw its two-game winning streak snapped and suffered its first loss under new head coach Gabby Severino. The Clutch now carry a 7-10 card to fall in a three-way tie in sixth to eighth places with Valenzuela and Mandaluyong.
GenSan’s latest win at home has improved to 3-0, giving the local folks a reason to celebrate, but for the people who trooped to the gymnasium, it’s also one way of welcoming celebrity baller Gerald Anderson.
Anderson, who grew up in Doña Soledad, one of the towns here in the Tuna Capital of the Philippines, came out and played here for the first time and made sure the fans won’t go home disappointed. He finished with nine points, six rebounds and hit a three-pointer right before the end of the match while helping his team to a 76-62 win over the Mandaluyong El Tigre.
Anderson and the rest of the Shoemasters posted their first back-to-back victories in the fastest growing regional amateur basketball league put up by Senator Manny Pacquiao with PBA legend Kenneth Duremdes serving as commissioner.
With the win, the Shoemasters improved their win-loss record to 6-10, climbing into a tie for 10th to 11th spots in the southern division with Zamboanga.
Marikina, however, was led by JR Ng Sang, who went a rebound away from posting a double-double performance. He finished with 17 points and nine rebounds while also swatting away three shots. Ryan Costelo chipped in 15 points, Ronald Roy contributed 14, and Yves Sazon tallied 13 in a display of balanced firepower by Marikina.
Ex-pro Jondan Salvador didn’t score a point, but made a contribution in the rebounding department, pulling down 15 boards.