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PSL: Young Pampanga Royce shows pedigree, stuns Boracay in debut


PAMPANGA — Royce Hotel, a team made up of former and present UAAP and NCAA standouts, proved it has what it takes (at least in its debut) after it tripped Boracay, 79-70, on Saturday in the Pilipinas Super League Pro Division Second Conference Dumper Cup at the Trinity University of Asia Gym in Quezon City.

Former San Sebastian standout Kenneth Villapando showed the way for Pampanga Royce with 16 points and nine rebounds. Meanwhile, the ex-Ateneo pair of Jolo Mendoza and Raffy Verano chipped in 15 and 14 markers, respectively.

Zach Huang, a top five 3×3 player in the country, also had 13 points and four boards as Pampanga Royce launched its drive on a rousing note in the tilt presented by Dumper party-list, Winzir, and SCD Cosmetics and supported by Wcube Solutions Inc., MDC, Unisol, Don Benitos, and Finn Cotton.

In the first game, defending champion Davao Occidental-Cocolife made mincemeat of the San Pedro Laguna ARS 108-64 to stay unbeaten.

Good for only 1.3 points and 2.3 rebounds in their first three games, Emman Calo came out of his shell and fired 21 points, to go with four dimes for the Tigers.

Ditto with guard Kyt Jimenez, who added 14 markers, five caroms, and seven feeds. The reigning MPBL Rookie of the Year is averaging only 5.7 points and 2.3 rebounds in Davao’s fast start.

The Tigers scored a big follow-up to a 73-67 triumph over Bicol last Dec. 3 and rose to 4-0.

The Islanders came off an 87-80 win over Manila last Dec. 4 and fell to 1-3.

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Mac Cardona and Jaymar Gimpayan paced Boracay with 14 points each.

The ARS Warriors absorbed their second defeat in a row, counting a 76-90 setback to Batang Kankaloo-Caloocan last Wednesday.

Ken Miranda carried the fight for San Pedro Laguna with 15 points, while Ian Melecio got 13.


The Scores

First game

DAVAO OCCIDENTAL-COCOLIFE 108 – Calo 21, Jimenez 14, Wilson 9, Subido 9, Rodriguez 8, Arana 6, Doromal 6, Hubalde 4, Agovida 4, Apreku 4, Alao 3, Goloran 2, Custodio 2.

SAN PEDRO LAGUNA ARS 64 – Miranda 15, Melencio 13, Guiab 7, Stevens 6, Hilario 5, Chua 5, Villanueva 4, Serios 4, Magno 2, Umpad 2, Balisi 0, Chavenia 0, Diocampo 0, Beltran 0.

Quarterscores: 31-22, 52-35, 81-64, 108-64.

Second game

PAMPANGA ROYCE HOTEL 79 – Villapando 16, Mendoza 15, Verano 14, Huang 13, Flores 6, Baetiong 5, Navarro 4, Tolentino 4, Liwag 2.

BORACAY 70 – Gimpayan 14, Cardona 14, Alabanza 6, Canaleta 5, Faundo 5, Estrada 4, Mallari 4, Helterbrand 3, Fontanilla 3, Peñaredondo 2, Bragais 2, Soberano 2, Lopez 2, Lasco 2, Gozum 2.

Quarterscores: 23-17, 45-30, 61-44, 79-70.

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