By: Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
THE GenSan Warriors handed Iloilo United-Royals their third defeat, 69-64, in the ongoing MPBL Lakan Cup on July 20, 2019 at Cuneta Astrodome.
Iloilo was leading in the first half thanks to their run-and-gun style, but GenSan was quick to recover and catch up with the pace.
Robby Celiz was too much to handle for the United-Royals, torching and outworking Iloilo as he posted a massive 15-point 15-rebound game.
Despite the absence of main man Michael Williams, who’s still competing in the Jones Cup with Mighty Sports PH, GenSan managed to cruise past the Ilonggos.
The United-Royals had their chances, but they could not get a stop at the important moments or convert a basket when needed. Aaron Jeruta delivered a needed lay-up in the last 30 seconds of the game but was not enough.
Richard Escoto, the main gunner of the United-Royals, scored a season low 4 points, the first time he didn’t score in double digits.
The Warriors are on a three-game winning streak after coach Rich Alvarez replaced Noy Pidoas.
Iloilo suffered their first back-to-back losses of the conference, sliding to sixth spot with 3 wins and 3 losses.
Iloilo – De Leon 11, Tamsi 10, Rodriguez 10, Mahari 9, Jeruta 8, Parker 6, Publico 6, Escoto 4
GenSan – Celiz 15, Orbeta 13, Landicho 10, Bautista 9, Raymundo 7, Mahaling 6, Basco 5