Iloilo nears MPBL playoffs berth after nipping Biñan

Al Francis Tamsi secures the ball after a board (Thel Suliva)

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

The Iloilo United Royals are two games away from their first MPBL playoffs debut after escaping a resilient Biñan City Luxxe White squad, 67-63.

Aiming to end the season on a positive note and an assurance of a playoff spot in the MPBL South Division, the United Royals looked like men on a mission after dictating the pace of the game.

Of all of them, it was trigger-ready Al Francis Tamsi who rose to the occasion as he dropped a staggering 24-point outing including five made baskets from the three-point line.

Tamsi’s big game helped gain momentum on the Iloilo side including his excellent court awareness and tenacity on the boards after contributing 5 boards and 4 dimes on top of his scoring.

Iloilo’s ball movement was also in full display after their motion offense started to operate like sweet music, finding an open Tamsi every time Biñan’s defense started to break down.

“Pinalagpas naming yung opportunity na matalo yung defending champions. So ngayong game, dumikit kami sa depensa and nag stick lang kami sa offense naming pinapagawa ng mga coaches naming,” said Tamsi in his best player of the game interview.

The win brought back the United Royals in the winning column and fifth in the South Division with a record of 17-11.