By Jerome Lagunzad
(Pasig City Sports Center)
7 p.m. – Quezon City vs Marikina
9 p.m. – Pasig City vs Zamboanga
Powerhouse Manila asserted its dominance over hapless Cebu City in record-setting style as the Stars fashioned out a wire-to-wire 107-76 victory over the Sharks on Tuesday night in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Anta Datu Cup at the Cuneta Astrodome.
Fast-rising forward Aris Dionisio and former pro Reil Cervantes led their attack with 19 points each but it was the Stars’ unforgiving defense that set the tone early on, holding the Sharks without any point in the entire first quarter—perhaps an all-time record in modern day basketball history.
Forward Marvin Hayes, another former pro, made it a 29-to-nothing start with an inside incursion for Manila, before Patrick Cabahug stopped the drought for Cebu by sinking a pair of freebies at the 9:05 mark of the second period.
Adrian Celada and Vence Laude teamed up for 25 points off the bench while University of the Philippines guard Kyles Lao made a solid debut with 13 points in what turned out to be a record-breaking offensive display by the Stars, who also issued 37 assists, more than quadruple of the Sharks’ meager nine.
The victory was the second straight and third overall in four starts for Manila, which stayed hot on the heels of pacesetting San Juan in the North Division. Meanwhile, Cebu City, led by Cabahug’s 28 points, stayed winless after four tries in the South Division.
Sharing the day’s spotlight with the Stars were the Bacoor Strikers, who spoiled the home debut of host Pasay City Voyagers with a 90-86 victory.