Taylor Statham had an explosive debut, recording a whopping double-double performance to lead Statham Academy to a 117-96 victory against the MisOr Mustangs in the 2023 Corsa Tires Asiabasket Dasmariñas Championship on Friday at the Dasmariñas Arena.
The American guard, who has Filipino roots, scored a day-high 40 points with a shooting percentage of 44-percent, while also securing 24 rebounds, six assists, two steals, and one block.
It was all Statham Academy right from the beginning, as they established a 64-46 lead at halftime, with Statham himself leading the way. The opposition never posed a threat for a comeback after that.
Isaac Etter finished with 20 points, including a step-back jumper that extended Statham Academy’s lead to 103-65 late in the third quarter. He also contributed seven rebounds, seven assists, and a steal.
Despite fielding only nine players, Statham Academy had multiple heroes, with Austin Galuppo chipping in with 22 points, 11 boards, and three assists, contributing to the wire-to-wire win.
The Makati Circus Music Festival and Shawarma Shack also secured victories on the opening day.
Makati Circus relied on Jan Formento’s hot hand to achieve a 93-79 triumph against the Pilipinas Aguilas, joining Statham Academy as the early leaders in Group A.
Formento made nine of his field goal attempts, scoring 28 points, along with two assists, two steals, and one rebound. Jaymark Lloren and JR Cadot provided additional support with 14 and 12 points, respectively.
Domark Matillano and Ik Akpuru combined forces to propel Shawarma Shack to a stunning come-from-behind 84-78 win against the Gerald Anderson-led Corsa Tires.
While Corsa Tires led by as much as nine points, Francis Camacho’s layup gave Shawarma Shack a 74-73 lead early in the fourth quarter.
Despite Anderson’s three-point play, Corsa Tires were unable to maintain their lead, and Shawarma Shack answered with a scorching 10-0 closing run, initiated by Matillano, sealing the comeback.
Matillano scored 26 points, along with six rebounds and two assists, while Akpuru added 15 points and six boards.
The Benilde Blazers concluded the quadruple-header with a 75-68 victory against the home team, the Dasmariñas Monarchs, with Tony Ynot leading the youthful squad.
Ynot shone with 19 points, in addition to seven rebounds and four assists, while Emman Ojoula contributed a double-double performance with 12 points and 10 boards, steering the ship for the Rajko Toroman-mentored team.