MANILA – Iloilo United Royals put an end to its losing run in the 2019-2020 Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Lakan Cup via a 72-67 victory over Navotas Uni-Pak Sardines at the Ynares Sports Center in Antipolo City.
However, the Royals’ victory did not came easy on Monday night. It saw its lead, which went up to as high as 14 points at one point, turned into a 54-51 deficit at the onset of the fourth period.
The Royals responded with a run via split free throws from Ryan Arambulo and Richard Escoto and layups from Aaron Jeruta, Jasper Parker and Rey Publico to take a 59-58 lead.
Free throws from Parker and Escoto allowed the Royals to build a 63-58 but Navotas countered clawed its way back behind Renz Gonzales and Jesper Bautista to cut the deficit to 64-65.
But the Ilonggos did not allow the victory to slip away from them. Escoto nailed two free throws and completed a rare four-point deficit to make it a seven-point game before Parker iced the win with two free throws.
Escoto finished the match with double-double 25 points and 10 rebounds, while Al Francis Tamsi added 11 markers as the Royals halted its two-game slide to improve to 10-8.
Gonzales tallied 13 points, while Bautista and Mark Anthony Guillen submitted 11 markers each as the Navotas slumped to 5-12 win-loss record./PN