The Victoria Sports-MLQU Stallions got the silver lining they had hoped for, turning back the Blustar Detergent Dragons, 85-76, to wrap up their Aspirants’ Cup stint, Tuesday afternoon at the JCSGO Gym in Cubao, Quezon City.
Fighting for pride, Victoria banked on Robbie Herndon to carry the load, finishing with 19 points and 13 rebounds to snap their three-game losing skid and finish the conference with a 2-7 record.
“Sabi ko sa players na tapusin namin ng maganda yung liga. Kahit na winless yung kalaban, hindi namin sila dapat binabalewala,” said coach Jinino Manansala.
Michael Ayonayon chimed in 14 markers and 10 rebounds. Ryusei Koga added 11 points and four assists, and Jayson Grimaldo had 10 markers and nine rebounds for Victoria. The Stallions missed the services of Aris Dionisio, who was out for personal reasons.
Already eliminated from the playoff race, Victoria stamped their class over the Dragons, slowly pulling away before
establishing a 17-point edge, 65-48, with 8:17 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Despite the exit, Manansala can be proud, knowing that his players made the most of their experience.
“This was really a good experience for us. Mahirap tanggapin yung laging talo, pero malaking bagay na yung experience na nakuha namin dito,” he said.
Tristan Perez finished with 19 points and nine rebounds for the Blustar squad, who went winless in their nine games this conference.
Victoria Sports-MLQU (85) – Herndon 19, Ayonayon 14, Koga 11, Grimaldo 10, Lao 9, Nicholls 9, Ragasa 7, Bitoon 6, Baliday 0, Cariaga 0, Dela Cruz 0, Puspus 0, Rivera 0.
Blustar (76) – Perez 19, Ang 12, Choong 11, Mak 10. Melano 10, Kwaan 7, Heng 3, Liaw 2, Chin 2, Ong 0.
Quarterscores: 20-15, 42-31, 61-48, 85-76.