D-League: Balanced UST survives Munzon's 46-point explosion

MANILA, Philippines – The UST Growling Tigers rallied on and escaped AMA Online Education, 113-108, to stay unscathed in the 2019 PBA D-League at the Paco Arena on Tuesday, February 26.

Mark Nonoy injected the much-needed energy for the Growling Tigers as he dropped all of his 14 points in the team's 44-point 4th quarter barrage, completing the fightback from an 11-point deficit, 78-67, in the waning moments of the 3rd period.

Soulemane Chabi Yo led UST's attack with 25 points, 18 rebounds, and 5 blocks, while Sherwin Concepcion added his own double-double of 20 points and 13 boards off the bench.

Rhanz Abando and Renzo Subido both scored 19 to help the Growling Tigers move up the Aspirants Group leadership at 2-0.

"Our composure was tested. For sure natuto kami rito. Halos ratratan eh, so every time we experience that, mate-test yung decision-making ng mga players," head coach Aldin Ayo said.

(Our composure was tested. For sure we learned from this. We were gunning at each other, so every time we experience that, the players' decision-making will be tested.)

It was an admirable performance from 2019 top pick Joshua Munzon, who held the fort for AMA with 46 points – the second-most points in a game in PBA D-League history – plus 11 rebounds, 6 steals, and 4 assists in the losing cause.

Franky Johnson added 21 points and 7 rebounds, while Troy Rike had 13 markers and 9 boards for the Titans

In the first game, the Marinerong Pilipino Skippers whipped SMDC-NU, 86-71, to chalk one in the win column.

Santi Santillan led the way with 18 points, 13 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals as Anton Asistio added 14 markers with 3 threes.

"'Yun na ang Anton Asistio at Santi Santillan na hinahanap namin," coach Yong Garcia said. "Iba ang experience nila at nadadala nila sa Marinero."

(That's the Anton Asistio and Santi Santillan we're looking for. The experience they bring to Marinero is on another level.)

Orlan Wamar chimed in 11 of his 13 points in the first half, while Jed Mendoza had 11 markers, 5 assists, and 3 boards for the Skippers.

John Galinato led SMDC-NU with 17 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 dimes, while Shaun Ildefonso added 16 markers in the loss.

The Scores:

First Game:

Marinerong Pilipino 86 - Santillan 18, Asistio 14, Wamar 13, Mendoza 11, Reyes 9, Apreku 9, A. Aquino 4, Bunag 3, Victoria 3, Gamboa 2, Bonifacio 0, Garcia 0.

SMDC-NU 71 - Galinato 17, S. Ildefonso 16, D. Ildefonso 13, Mangayao 5, Clemente 5, Diputado 5, Gallego 4, Minerva 2, Oczon 2, Rangel 2, Gaye 0, Tibayan 0, Malonzo 0, Chatman 0, Sinclair 0.

Quarters: 19-15, 47-29, 63-57, 86-71.

Second Game:

UST 113 - Chabi Yo 25, Concepcion 20, Subido 19, Abando 19, Nonoy 14, Lee 8, Ando 4, Mahinay 4, Paraiso 0, Pangilinan 0, Zamora 0.

AMA 108 - Munzon 46, Johnson 21, Rike 13, Dela Virgen 10, Tambeling 8, Montalbo 6, Yu 2, Liwag 2, Asuncion 0, Paras 0, Parcero 0, Bederi 0.

Quarters: 25-21, 48-49, 69-78, 113-108.

– Rappler.com