ILOILO City – Iloilo United Royals’ first home game ended in heartbreak. It suffered a close 56-52 defeat to Pasay Voyagers in the 2019-2020 Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Lakan Cup last night at the University of San Agustin Gym here.
After being down by as much as 14 points in the third quarter, the Royals went on a furious run behind Ryan Arambulo, Jasper Parker and Donald Gumaru to come to within 50-51.
The Voyagers managed to extend the lead to 54-50 but split free throws by Rey Publico and Frederick Rodriguez brought the Royals to within 52-54.
The Ilonggos was able to convert a basket in the next play but was waived off due to a 24-second violation.
Alejandrino Inigo drained two free throws for Pasay to extend the advantage to 56-52 with 14 seconds to go. Iloilo, however, turned the ball over in the next play dashing their hopes of pulling off a come-from-behind win.
Arambulo was the lone double-digit scorer for the Royals with 12 points, while Parker and Richard Escoto were held to just seven markers apiece.
The Royals dropped to 8-6 slate in the South Division.
Inigo and Elmar Moradas top-scored with 12 markers each, while Ilonggo Jaypee Belencion contributed eight markers as the Voyagers improved to 10-5 slate in the North Division.
In the first game, Valenzuela SPV TOP Marketplace survived a furious fourth quarter run by the Mindoro Tamaraws to escape with a 67-59 win.
Jaymar Gimpayan finished the match with double-double 13 points and 13 rebounds for the winning team./PN