MPBL LAKAN CUP: Iloilo survives near meltdown vs Nueva Ecija

By: Leobert Julian A. de laPeña

ILOILO United Royals scored a squeaker of a win against the Nueva Ecija MiGuard, 92-90, despite the latter’s comeback attempt in the 2019 MPBL Lakan Cup on July 10, 2019, at the Olivares Gym in Parañaque City.

The United Royals caught fire all throughout the first three quarters as Rey Publico struck MiGuard’s defense early on, driving and fishing fouls whenever he gets to the paint.

Iloilo’s activity on the boards became a problem for Nueva Ecija as they outrebounded MiGuard, 49-35.

The rebounds created opportunities for United Royals’ shooters who sank 6 three pointers despite a poor shooting effort from rainbow country at 22 percent.

Iloilo seemed to control the game from start to finish as they extended their biggest lead to 17. But at the sixth minute mark of the fourth canto, MiGuard cut the United Royals lead to 9 and regained their momentum.

Under 1 minute in the last frame, Iloilo’s lead was further cut to 6. Nueva Ecija came blitzing with a dagger three and a crucial steal, resulting in a 5-0 run, further cutting Iloilo’s lead to just a point.

MiGuard had their chance to seal the win with JR Cawaling’s step back perimeter jumper but the shot did not connect.

Ilonggo Aaron Jeruta got fouled and sealed the match with a clutch free throw despite missing his second attempt.

Publico was the best player of the game, tallying 16 points and 5 boards.

Iloilo improved to 3 wins and 1 loss, while MiGuard fell to a disappointing 1 win and 4 losses. (Photo Source: MPBL Facebook Page)