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Saturday, June 22, 2024

Warriors buck travel woes to edge Imus Bandera

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Zamboanga—General Santos City continued its remarkable run in the MPBL Lakan Season while another team on the rise, Bicol, came out as a conqueror late Saturday night here at the Mayor Vitaliano Agan Gymnasium.

Arriving a few hours before tip-off, the Burlington-backed Warriors edged the Imus Bandera, 75-73, with Rob Celiz playing the hero’s role.

Celiz stole the ball in the dying seconds of the match then capped his endgame brilliance with a game-winning layup, allowing the Warriors to extend their winning streak to eight straight. Following its latest win, General Santos City improved its win-loss record to 10-2, just half a game behind southern division leader Davao Occidental Tigers in this tournament put up by Senator Manny Pacquiao with PBA legend and former MVP Kenneth Duremdes serving as commissioner.

“Kapag player ka, walang excuse kahit puyat ka, pagod ka, wala kang practice. Ang trabaho mo is maglaro ng maayos,” said Celiz, who ended up with impressive numbers of 26 points, nine rebounds, six assists and four blocks.

General Santos City and Imus had trouble getting to Zamboanga for the game when their travel agency, Snap Travel, failed to get their tickets on time.

Like General Santos City, Bicol also sustained its winning run, this after the Volcanoes came out as conquering visitors against the Zamboanga-Family’s Brand Sardines, 88-86, in the other game.

It was the third straight win for the Volcanoes, who improved their standings in the southern division with an 8-5 record and solidified their hold of the seventh spot. Zamboanga dropped below the .500 win-loss mark for the first time and absorbed its third straight loss. The team now carries a 6-7 win-loss slate.

Parading a new coach in Britt Reroma, former mentor of the Bulacan Kuyas, Zamboanga dictated the tempo of the game earlier, leading by as many as 22 points, 36-14, off a Raphy Reyes’ three-point basket.

But when Reroma tried to experiment, that allowed the Volcanoes to wipe out the lead quickly and by the end of the second period, Bicol was only trailing by six, 46-40, and started to gain the momentum to complete a come-from-behind victory.       


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