Also-ran GenSan scored its breakthrough win in the 2021 Chooks-to-Go MPBL Invitational, stunning Bulacan in Pool D, 90-82, Saturday at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
Unlike their first three games in the tournament that saw them lose by an average margin of 8.33 points per game, the Warriors did not remain persistent up to the very end.
“Thankful for the win and we just wished that we were able to start the tournament as strong as this,” said GenSan’s young Fil-Am guard RJ Ramirez.
“Buti nanalo. Sabi ko sa kanila, huwag kaming uuwi na walang panalo. Ang sarap palang manalo after four games,” added team captain Pamboy Raymundo.
Clinging to a 64-61 lead entering the final frame, Raymundo and Ramirez took charge for GenSan.
Raymundo kickstarted a 12-3 rally to gain an 11-point cushion midway through the last quarter. Ramirez meanwhile made a living from the foul stripe, helping extend GenSan’s lead to as high as 17 points, 84-67.
Ramirez, a product of Far Eastern University, had a game-high 22 points built on nine free throws while Raymundo added 18 points and seven assists.
Edzel Mag-isa got 10 points while Felix Apreku and Hafer Mondragon grabbed nine and eight rebounds, respectively.
Bulacan, whose playoff hopes in this 13-day tournament ended due to having a 1-3 card, was led by the 20 points and 13 rebounds of Bryan Faundo. JJ Caspe and Jack Hoyohoy got 15 points each with the latter also grabbing eight rebounds.
GenSan will look to continue its spoiling ways as it faces Mindoro (2-1) tomorrow at 8:00AM.
“Ang importante ay kung paano namin tatapusin,” said GenSan homegrown player Gerald Anderson. “Nakita niyo naman yung kanina nung simula na kahit nung simula ng tournament na ito, hindi kami nagiiwanan. Nagtutulungan talaga kami.”
Bulacan, on the other hand, ends its campaign against Manila on Monday.
GenSan 90 – Ramirez 22, Raymundo 18, Mag-isa 10, Buenafe 9, Mondragon 7, Masaglang 6, Chan 4, Ongteco 4, Pangilinan 3, Mirza 3, Anderson 2, Apreku 2.
Bulacan 82 – Faundo 20, Hoyohoy 15, Caspe 15, Martinez 13, Dela Cruz 11, Arim 5, Escosio 3, Inigo 0, Neypes 0, Marquez 0, Bacay 0.
Quarterscores: 18-27, 39-39, 64-61, 90-82.