Entering hostile territory and playing without ace guard Mikey Williams, the General Santos Warriors remained composed, stunning home team Valenzuela Classic, 93-87, Monday evening.
Williams is currently in Taiwan for the 2019 William Jones Cup campaign of Mighty Sports.
Without him, the rest of the Warriors stepped up with Robby Celiz leading the way with 25 points and seven rebounds.
“It’s not easy to win without Mikey Williams, who is our top scorer and one of our top playmakers,” said Gen San head coach Rich Alvarez. “Credit to the guys for stepping up.”
John Orbeta and Meylan Landicho added 12 and 10 points respectively while Pamboy Raymundo glued things together for Gen San with 14 points and 12 assists.
With everything clicking for the Warriors, they would lead by as much as 16 points in the contest to raise the Warriors’ slate to 4-2 in the 2019-20 MPBL Lakan Cup.
Valenzuela, who saw their four-game winning streak snapped, were led by Jason Varilla’s 20 points. Paolo Hubalde added 15 points and 10 dimes while Chris De Chavez chipped in 16 points spiked by four triples.
Earlier in the day, southern squads Batangas City Athletics and Cebu Sharks racked up victories as well.
Batangas picked it up in overtime, leaving the Basilan Steel scratching, 101-89.
Jeff Viernes took over in extra time, scoring seven of his 27 points during the frame that saw Basilan only score four points.
Val Acuna and Jason Melano were also instrumental in Batangas’ second win in three outings with the former finishing with 20 points and 10 rebounds while the latter scattering 17 points, five rebounds, and five assists.
But the night belonged to Jayson Grimaldo as the 6-foot-5 product of MLQU tallied an MPBL-record eight blocks.
Jessie Collado and Chris Dumapig paced Basilan, who fell to 3-2, with 20 and 17 points, respectively.
Lefty Fil-Am William McAloney, on the other hand, was the hero Cebu needed, knocking down a clutch three-point play to lift his side to a 69-68 win over the Iloilo United Royals.
With three seconds left and Cebu down by two, McAloney knocked down a tough floater over Eric Rodriguez plus the harm.
McAloney registered 15 points and nine rebounds.
Alfrancis Tamsi’s desperation triple missed to close out the game as Cebu went up to 3-3 while Iloilo suffered their second straight loss to drop to 3-2.
Rhaffy Octobre added 11 points and 11 rebounds as Eloy Poligrates and Patrick Cabahug struggled in the game, combining to shoot just 3-of-13 from the field.
Samboy De Leon led Iloilo with 20 points while Richard Escoto added 11 markers on just 2-of-9 shooting from the field.
Cebu 69 – McAloney 15, Octobre 11, Lao 9, Cabahug 8, Nunez 7, Cenita 5, Lee Yu 5, Villaver 3, Viloria 2, Poligrates 2, Villafranca 2, Cortes 0, Galvez 0, Dinolan 0.
Iloilo 68 – De Leon 20, Escoto 11, Tamsi 9, Jeruta 8, Mahari 7, Gumaru 6, De Joya 2, Publico 0, Javelosa 0, Pedrosa 0, Arambulo 0.
Quarterscores: 12-18, 32-32, 48-50, 69-68.
Batangas 101 – Viernes 27, Acuna 20, Melano 17, Tolentino 9, Santos 9, Bragais 6, Eguilos 6, Grimaldo 4, Olayon 3, Rivero 0, Mescallado 0.
Basilan 89 – Collado 20, Dumapig 17, Palencia 9, Bautista 9, Dagangon 6, Bringas 6, Gabo 5, Alanes 5, Lunor 2, Hallare 2, Julkipli 0, Balucanag 0, Ng 0.
Quarterscores: 25-25, 42-38, 67-62, 85-85, 101-89.
General Santos 93 – Celiz 25, Raymundo 14, Orbeta 12, Landicho 10, Basco 9, Mahaling 6, Masaglang 6, Vijandre 5, Carlos 3, Foronda 2, Bautista 1, Goloran 0, De Guzman 0, Radin 0.
Valenzuela 87 – Varilla 20, De Chavez 16, Hubalde 10, Gimpayan 8, Asuncion 7, Thiele 5, Ruaya 4, Mabigat 4, Catacutan 4, Cabrera 4, Andaya 0, Kalaw 0, Pacalinawan 0, Esplana 0.
Quarterscores: 21-18, 43-41, 68-62, 93-87.
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