Ynares Sports Center in Antipolo housed a big encounter once again, this time between Rain or Shine and NorthPort as the latter took the win in an astonishing 94-81 final turn out.
Jamie Malonzo, who eagerly set out to get as many rebounds as he could in the game against Rain or Shine, for all effort and sweat was a significant factor in the victory in an evidently massive way. The blazing Malonzo principally took a team-high 15 rebounds to fill the vacuum as the team had missed a pair of big boys in the match at hand.
After NorthPort failed to reach an agreement with its big man Greg Slaughter, Malonzo’s effort was much-needed. Due to injuries that are truly unexpected and unbargained for, Troy Rike and other big men Jervy Cruz and Chris Javier have yet to play for the Batang Pier.
In a statement, Malonzo said “Just not having them, I got to step up and I got to be big for my team. Robert told me in practice, you have to get 15 boards. That’s what I wanted to do and it happened.”
With 39 minutes, Malonzo and Robert Bolick led NorthPort in minutes played, and the sophomore started with conviction he was prepared for such a situation. He was practically built for it.
Malonzo confidently stated “Coach said I’m going to play a lot of minutes. We were missing a couple of bugs. Troy Rike and a couple of others. I want to go out there and fill some shoes tonight for my team, work as hard as I can and do everything I can to get the win.” A lot of weight to fill for a single athlete, but our star player shows no bounds to his tenacity at winning this game and he succeeds.
“I’m just going in there, trying to get tips, try to tip them out to other players, just working hard on the inside,” quoting Malonzo. He is relentless in learning and improving his craft as every win is as valuable as every loss being learning experiences. Wise and humble words from Malonzo.
Terrafirma will seek an epic u-turn from a 105 to 102 loss to NLEX on a very close match, despite leading by as much as 16 points late in the said game. An exciting plot twist set for another plot twist but with a win.
The Bolts will play their first conference game on Saturday, looking to improve on their 46th season performance, which saw them through to reach the semifinals of the Philippine Cup and the Governors’ Cup finals.
Meralco made very minor squad adjustments, with Kyle Pascual as the sole but celebrated key addition.
The Fuel Masters are looking for their first win too as they follow with a strong performance during their previous game, in which they only lost by eight points to powerhouse San Miguel, a 108 to 100 closely fought for match ending. Tyler Tio and Encho Serrano, both rookies, had strong first games as expected from young promising players, combining for 33 points in the game.
The league is up for a very interesting run of matches with these trailblazing comebacks from these teams on fire.