Late rally propels ePLDT to 71-57 debut win against ING


By Frank Leo Aniscal - Published February 5, 2020

Better late than never.

The ePLDT figured things out in the last five minutes of the game on how they could beat the feisty ING after pulling off a 71-57 win to open their campaign in the Corporate Division of Kings of the Court Invitational, Sunday at The Upper Deck Sports Centre in Pasig City.

A lead that was only at three before the five-minute mark of the fourth quarter, ePLDT suddenly exploded in the crucial stretch as Ads Duran and Monching Olazo led their fastbreak attacks.

Olazo got the first double-double for ePLDT as he finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds, alongside four assists. Kim Gonzales made his present felt inside the paint by collecting a team-high of 19 markers plus seven boards.

Surprising ING with an early full-court pressure defense, ePLDT started on a high note after taking two offensive runs - a 16-7 after the opening tip and a 10-5 in the latter minutes - to finish the first quarter with a double digit lead, 26-16.

However, ING gave ePLDT a taste of their own medicine as the former executed their version of fastbreak plays, anchored by Manu Magat and Jeremy Mamhot, to take over for the first time before the first half ended, 39-38.

Momentum swung from one team to another as they brought the game close until the final half of the fourth quarter when ePLDT suddenly surged by continuing to convert fastbreak baskets. ING failed to keep up in the race as they stumbled with a 14-point defeat.

Magat had a near double-double after collecting 19 points and nine rebounds, alongside three assists and three steals. Ivan Belsa contributed 12 markers, five boards and four steals, while Mamhot supported with 11 points and seven rebounds.