After two straight losses, Sarangani finally barged into the win column, picking up a much-needed 75-66 win over Muntinlupa in the 2021 Chooks-to-Go Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Invitational, Wednesday at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
Jordan Sta. Ana came through for the once-struggling Marlins, finishing with 18 points on an efficient 8-of-13 shooting clip along with six rebounds and two assists to help the team avoid elimination.
“Masaya, sobra. Talagang gusto namin manalo siyempre yung inspiration ko kasi nung kinuha ako dito sa Sarangani is yung nangyari sa team ko last season,” said Sarangani head coach John Kallos as his former team Caloocan missed out on the Lakan playoffs by just one game.
“Dinala ko lang yung culture na ‘di tayo nagpapatalo, tapos yung image ng Sarangani is pangit for the last season,” he added as Sarangani went 1-29 last season. “Yun talaga yung inspiration namin, na ‘di ka naman manalo pero yung imahe na lumalaban ka.”
The Marlins had a slow start to the game but managed to pick things up in the third quarter where they led by as much as 13 points, 58-45, off of a Gabby Espinas freebie.
Muntinlupa got close to within six in the fourth frame but Sta. Ana converted an and-one, 65-56, to halt the streak.
Marvin Lee scattered 14 points, five assists, four steals, and two rebounds for Sarangani while Yvan Ludovice added 12 markers, five rebounds, five steals, and four assists.
Sarangani is now 1-2 in Pool C while Muntinlupa fell to the last spot at 0-2. San Juan (2-0) remained at the number one spot followed by Nueva Ecija (1-0), Valenzuela (1-1).
Chino Mosqueda led the Cagers with 12 points, six rebounds, and five assists.
King Destacemento supplied 11 points and six rebounds while John Vidal added 10 points and five boards.
Sarangani will go up against Val City-MJAS Zenith on Saturday at 7:30 PM while Muntinlupa looks to bounce back against San Juan-Go for Gold AICC on Friday at 7:30 PM.
Sarangani (75) – Sta. Ana 18, Lee 14, Ludovice 12, Espinas 9, Acosta 8, Basibas 5, Sanga 5, Munsayac 3, Sarangay 1, Marilao 0, Bautista 0, Dator 0
Muntinlupa (66) – Mosqueda 12, Destacamento 11, Vidal 10, Gw. Capacio 9, Ortuoste 8, Saitanan 6, Bagatsing 4, Alano 3, Ga. Capacio 2, Ylagan 1, Dixon 0, Peralta 0
Quarterscores: 15-24, 42-33, 60-48, 75-66