The Makati Super Crunch and Davao Occidental Tigers bounced back with contrasting victories in the Chooks-to-Go MPBL Lakan Season on Wednesday at San Andres Sports Complex in Manila.
Flaunting their old fiery form, the Super Crunch routed the Caloocan Supremos,119-77, to outdo the Tigers, who settled for an unimpressive 78-70 conquest of the Paranaque Patriots.
Checking a two-game slide, the Super Crunch under new coach Beaujing Acot broke out from a 16-16 tie with a 13-point cluster closing the first quarter and were never headed en route to their 21st win against six losses that assured them of a top four finish in the North division elimination round.
Joshua Torralba presided over the 42-point blowout with 24 points, including six triples, and got ample support from Joseph Sedurifa with 16 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists; Jeckster Apinan with 16 points, 8 rebounds and 5 steals; and Cedric Ablaza with 15 points and 9 rebounds.
John Rey Villanueva and Rudy Lingganay also contributed with 13 and 11 points, respectively.
So feisty were the Super Crunch, Joseph Manlangit still did a dunk in the waning seconds to punctuate their triumph over the Victory Liner-supported Supremos, who suffered their fourth straight loss for a 14-13 slate.
According to Acot, whose coaching debut with Makati ended in a 79-101 loss to Davao Occidental on January 14, he was very happy the players accepted the challenge and played their hearts out though they’re still in the adjustment stage.
Reeling from a humbling 84-65 beating dealt them by the San Juan Knights last Saturday, the Cocolife-backed Tigers erased an early 6-point deficit and surged ahead,74-59, to climb to 22-4 in the South division.
Veteran Mark Yee led the Tigers with 17 points and as many rebounds, followed by Emman Calo with 13 points, Marco Balagtas 12, Chester Saldua 11 and Billy Robles and Bogs Raymundo with 10 each.
The also-ran Patriots slid to 8-20 despite the 14-point, 9-rebound effort of James Abugan.
The Nueva Ecija Rice Vanguards again played the spoilers’ role, stunning the Bulacan Kuyas, 85-78, behind the three-pronged attack of Jai Reyes, Tonino Gonzaga and Justin Arana.
Reyes posted 20 points and 15 assists, followed by Gonzaga with 20 points and 7 rebounds, and Arana with 19 points, 14 rebounds, 4 blocks and 2 steals as Nueva Ecija improved to 9-18.
The Kuyas skidded to 18-9 and shared fourth to fifth places with the Bataan Risers.
The MPBL visits Ynares Sports Arena on Thursday with Rizal facing Pampanga at 4:15 p.m. Other games pit Iloilo versus San Juan at 6:30 p.m., and Navotas against Batangas at 8:30 p.m.