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Liver Marin routs MP

Games Monday San Juan Arena,
1 p.m. – Cagayan Valley vs Jumbo Plastic
3 p.m. – Cebuana Lhuillier vs Tanduay Light

Liver Marin used a balanced scoring and a strong first half to beat MP Hotel, 82-68, on Thursday for its first win in the PBA D-League Foundation Cup at the Ynares Arena.

Four of five starters led by Jovit dela Cruz (15 points) scored in double digits for the Guardians, who went up by as many as 20 points several times in a matchup between two school-based teams to snap a three-game losing skid.

“I’m excited about this game. I was very confident we had a chance to win this game and I’m pleased with the way the players responded,” said Liver Marin coach Rodney Santos.

“The first three games the players were really very conscious. Most of them are first time D-Leaguers so they’re still feeling their way into the league. But hopefully they’ll get used to the type of game here. It will be an accomplishment if we make the top six,” added Santos, a star during his playing years with the San Sebastian Stags.

Choi Ignacio scored 14 points, Bradwyn Guinto had 11 and Ryan Costelo added 10 for the Liver Marin, which also got solid support from the bench.

The Warriors were hoping their fortunes would turn around for the better after an inspiring 107-106 stunner against Cagayan Valley last March 26 that snapped an 11-game losing streak dating back to the elimination round last conference.

But sloppy defense, poor execution and bad shot selection spoiled their desire to improve their team standings. Instead, MP Hotel found itself back in pit in the company of Liver Marin with 1-3 marks.

Rey Nambatac, who nailed the winning shot in MP Hotel’s breakthrough win, tallied a game-high 16 points but shot just 4 of 13. The Warriors also turned the ball over 25 times that netted Liver Marin 21 points.

Nambatac also grabbed 13 rebounds to finish with a double-double as the Warriors dominated the boards, 54-49. Still, the Guardians manage to post a 46-24 edge on points in the paint.

Liver Marin held MP Hotel to four field goals in the first quarter to take a 22-12 lead that grew to 45-25 at the break. The Warriors shot 25 percent (9 of 36) in the first half and finished with a woeful 30 percent clip (23 of 77).

A 3-pointer by Rocky Acidre pulled the Warriors within 45-56 with still two minutes left in the third quarter but the Guardians responded with a 23-17 run to lock the victory, 79-61, late in the fourth.

LIVER MARIN 82 – Dela Cruz 15, Ignacio 14, Guinto 11, Costelo 10, Bangga 7, De Vera 6, Ortuoste 5, Santos 4, Calisaan 3, Fabian 2, Rios 2, Laude 2, Mag-isa 1, Balacunag 0.

MP HOTEL 68 – Nambatac 16, Acidre 12, Colina 11, Cruz 11, Custodio 8, Mirza 6, Quinto 2, Pacquiao 2, Escosio 0, Mendoza 0, Dela Pena 0, MAsaqlang 0.

Quarters: 22-12; 45-25; 62-48; 82-68.