Southern Cross takes back-to-back wins as ING Lions suffer second loss


By Frank Leo Aniscal - Published February 12, 2020

Southern Cross rallied in the fourth quarter to get their second win in a row after a 83-72 win over ING Lions in the Corporate Invitational Division of KOTC Invitational, Sunday at The Upper Deck, Pasig City.


As ING Lions managed to stay close after three quarters, 58-57, Southern Cross went to playing solid defense in the final canto as they easily took a double digit lead and answered every offensive run of the opponents until taking an 11-point win.


Four players finished in double figures for the undefeated team and three of them recorded double-double performance, led by Jheyar Marcelo's 17 points, 14 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals and a shotblock.


Wynald Sultan gathered 17 points and 10 rebounds, while Jason Santos made 16 markers and 12 boards. Ruperto Ramos Jr. helped with 10 points.


On the other hand, Manu Magat and Ivan Belsa were ING Lions' bright spots as they tallied 21 and 13 points, respectively.


Learning their lesson from their previous match, Southern Cross started off on a high note as they pulled off a 10-3 run to get the momentum. They even held a 40-30 margin before the ING Lions cut it down to just six at the half.


The ING Lions roared in the third period as they drew an 11-0 run to taste their first lead of the game, 47-45, with more than four minutes left. But the unsung heroes of Southern Cross, Ramos and Lhovie Titong, dropped daggers from beyond the arc, hitting two each to keep them ahead by an inch heading to the fourth quarter, 58-57. Belsa could have given ING Lions the lead but his fastbreak basket did not count.


Exerting more effort on the defensive end, Southern Cross ran away with a 15-4 rally for a 73-61 lead. ING Lions came back to within six, but failed to sustain their energy as Southern Cross sealed the victory.