Victoria Sports-MLQU gained some measure of pride, holding off Blustar Detergent, 85-76, to end its 2017 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup campaign Tuesday at JCSGO Gym in Cubao.
With both teams already out of contention, Victoria showed its prowess over the Dragons, slowly breaking away and leading by as much as 17, 65-48, with 8:17 remaining in the fourth quarter to snap its three-game losing skid.
“I told the players that we wanted to finish the league on a bright note. Even if we’re facing a winless team in Blustar, we shouldn’t discount them and gave everyone a chance to play,” said coach Jinino Manansala.
Robbie Herndon paced Victoria (2-7) with 19 points and 13 rebounds, while Michael Ayonayon added 14 markers and 10 rebounds.
Ryusei Koga chipped in 11 points and four assists, while Jayson Grimaldo had 10 markers and nine rebounds to make up for the absence of Aris Dionisio who was out due to personal reasons.
Despite exiting the tournament early, Manansala only had great things to say about his side’s stint, noting that it gave his lesser known players the exposure they badly craved for.
“This was really a good experience for us. It’s hard to accept losing, but we treasure the experience we gained in this campaign,” he said.
Blustar exited the tournament winless after nine games.
Tristan Perez led the Dragons with 19 points and nine rebounds, while Alvin Ang got 12.
VICTORIA 85 – Herndon 19, Ayonayon 14, Koga 11, Grimaldo 10, Lao 9, Nicholls 9, Ragasa 7, Bitoon 6, Baliday 0, Cariaga 0, Dela Cruz 0, Puspus 0, Rivera 0.
BLUSTAR 76 – Perez 19, Ang 12, Choong 11, Mak 10. Melano 10, Kwaan 7, Heng 3, Liaw 2, Chin 2, Ong 0.