Iloilo United Royals melt down against Basilan Steel

Escoto struggled against Basilan’s superior height (MPBL Photo)

By: Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

Iloilo, with a comfortable 11-point lead, could not hold on as they lose to Basilan, 78-74.

Basilan got off to a fast start as they capitalized on their size advantage inside the shaded area.

Coach Eric of Iloilo countered by subbing in ‘Kamikazee Kid’ Cedric De Joya to spark the Royals and end the half leading 36-33.

As the second half began, Iloilo was poised to run away with the game behind the hot shooting of Samboy De Leon and Rey Publico.

John Mahari showed his fearlessness as he sliced through Basilan’s defensive wall time and time again. Helping Iloilo add to the lead 58-52 going into the final frame.

Momentum swung Basilan’s way when a couple of technical fouls were called against Iloilo. Aaron Jeruta was meted with an unsportsmanlike foul when he sprinted towards his bench after being called for a block, leading to him fouling out of the game. Moments later, Eric Rodriguez was also called for a technical after arguing with the referees.

Losing all momentum, Iloilo went on a 4-minute scoring drought, giving Basilan the lead.

Irven Palencia took matters into his own hands as he went clutch for Basilan, scoring 8 big points in the last 3 minutes of the game.

Basilan took advantage of their height and outworked Iloilo on the boards, grabbing 51 compared to Iloilo’s 37.

With the win, Basilan broke the deadlock between the two teams, Basilan climbing up to 5-3 while Iloilo sliding down to 4-4.


Iloilo- De Leon 16, Tamsi 11, Publico 11, Escoto 10, De Joya 8, Gumaru 7, Javelosa 4

Basilan- Palencia 15, Lunor 13, Balucanag 12, Bautista 9, Bringas 8, Gabo 8,