Bulacan DF Republicans wasted no time in flaunting their depth, routing SparTAN Sulong Stan, 116-94, last Sunday at the start of the Chooks-to-Go National Basketball League (NBL) Chairman’s Cup at the Bren Z. Guiao Convention Center in San Fernando, Pampanga.
Christian Necio scored 18 points, six rebounds, seven assists, and four steals for the DF Republicans, who raced to a 90-72 lead after a 32-21 third quarter. Necio converted a lay-up late in the fourth to extend Bulacan’s lead to 112-89, the largest in the game.
Joseph Celso, a Mythical Five winner in the first season of the NBL, returned to the league with 15 points and 12 rebounds for Bulacan. Dominick Fajardo had 15 points, four rebounds, four assists, and three steals for the Republicans in his NBL comeback as well.
Bulacan got off to a strong start with an 8-0 advantage and a 15-3 lead. The Quezon District 1 and 4-based Sulong Stan tasted the lead at 34-32 but the Republicans regained control and were up, 58-51, at halftime.
The Republicans coached by Paul John Macapagal also outscored the Sulong Stan in bench points, 49-32, with John Kenneth Reyes leading the attack with 13 points.
Marvin Baracael scored 19 points, and Khenth Guiab and Kenneth Mercado had 15 points apiece for the Mel Alas-mentored Sulong Stan in their NBL debut.
Bulacan 116 – Necio 18, Fajardo 15, Celso 15, J. Reyes 13, Cruz 12, E. Reyes 11, Operio 10, Andres 8, Ramirez 7, Sumampong 3, Camua 2, Batac 2, Santos 0.
SparTAN 94 – Baracael 19, Mercado 15, Guiab 15, Bacay 13, Batilo 10, Umberit 6, Ortillano 4, Sevilla 4, Amandy 4, Calvario 3, Aquino 1, Gagan 0, Sangalang 0, Portales 0.
Quarterscores: 27-25, 58-51, 90-72, 116-94.