Makati picked up from where it left off in the latter stretch of 2018, and started the new year on a winning note to extend its streak in the MPBL Datu Cup.
The Super Crunch outlasted the Pasig Pirates, 76-71, to sustain its winning run and notch a ninth straight victory. With the win, Makati has improved its win-loss record to 15-4 to climb into a tie for third spot with idle San Juan in the tough northern division of this tournament put up by Senator Manny Pacquiao with PBA legend and former MVP Kenneth Duremdes serving as commissioner.
But in picking up their latest win, the Super Crunch had to endure a hard test and head coach Cholo Villanueva admitted his squad’s struggle.
“You can see that we’re a bit sluggish. This is our first game in three weeks and most of the players are still on a vacation mode,” said Villanueva. “But this win means a lot because we were able to climb to third spot and have a chance to improve further.”
Leading the way for the Super Crunch was veteran Mark Isip, who knocked in 11 of his 19 points in the opening quarter to lead his team to a strong start.
The Super Crunch extended its winning run to nine a row and is the second hottest team in the tournament after the Tigers of Davao Occidental, who are protecting a 12-game winning streak.
Joseph Sedurifa added 12 while Jeckster Apinan and John Rey Villanueva had 11 apiece for Makati.
Pasig absorbed its 15th loss in 18 games to stay at the cellar.
Earlier, Quezon City settled an old score with Mandaluyong by winning, 86-76, in the other game.
It was a rematch of the game that was ordered to be replayed after the Black Mamba Energy Drink-backed Capitals filed a protest against the El Tigre for fielding in Ronjay Buenafe, who was ineligible to play.