Though Iloilo’s MPBL debut was much-delayed, Richard Escoto made sure that the wait was worth it.
The product of FEU knocked down a buzzer-beating triple as the Iloilo United Royals stunned the Parañaque Patriots, 67-64, Friday evening at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan City.
“Prior to that, he took a bad shot. Na-disappoint ako, pero nakabawi naman niya,” quipped Iloilo head coach Eric Gonzales.
Escoto missed a triple with 32 seconds left. Thankfully, though, Rey Publico managed to swat away Jemal Vizcarra’s shot to give Iloilo the final shot.
“Ayoko sayangin yung tiwala ni coach sa akin. Kailangan ko bawiin,” said Escoto.
Off the inbound, Aaron Jeruta almost fumbled the ball but had the presence of mind to find Escoto. Escoto then threw a wild shot from the left elbow, and the ball banked in the hole to give Iloilo a debut to remember.
Escoto had 11 points, five rebounds, and four assists.
Leading the way for Iloilo was Samboy De Leon with 18 markers. Meanwhile, Gumaru and Al Francis Tamsi added 11 and 10 markers each.
“Kanina, before the game, sabi ko, nag-pray ako na hindi kailangan na tambakan. Basta manalo lang. Hirap manalo at maraming unpredictable,” expressed Gonzales.
Iloilo was supposed to debut last Monday versus SOCCKSARGEN, but the latter had management issues, causing the game to be moved.
Parañaque, who dropped to 1-1, was led by Vizcarra’s 12 points. The UST product shot just 3-of-14 from the field.
Dwight Saguiguit tallied 10 points and 10 rebounds as well.
Iloilo 67 – De Leon 18, Escoto 11, Gumaru 11, Tamsi 10, Jeruta 6, Javelosa 4, Mahari 3, Parker 2, Publico 1, Arambulo 1, Rodriguez 0, Pedrosa 0.
Paranaque 64 – Vizcarra 12, Saguiguit 10, Rabe 9, Solis 8, Mangalino 8, Almajeda 6, Begaso 4, Sunga 3, Antonares 2, Lucente 2, Banzali 0, Castellano 0, Larotin 0.
Quarterscores: 16-21, 35-25, 51-46, 67-64.