By Ivan Stewart Saldajeno
MANILA — Manila made quick work of Mindoro with a 133-101 win in the MPBL Lakan Season at the STRIKE Gymnasium in Bacoor on Monday.
With playoff bearings at stake, the Stars repulsed the Tamaraws from start to finish en route to the blowout.
“Maganda ang focus ng players namin (Our players were focused) offensively and defensively from start to finish. They just attacked Mindoro’s defense all game,” said Coach Tino Pinat, whose Manila squad improved its record to 23-4.
In a performance reminiscent of his college days at College of St. Benilde and his prime in the Philippine Basketball Association, Carlo Lastimosa registered 27 points, eight rebounds, and five assists for the Stars, who are once again a half-game behind the San Juan Knights for the top seed in the Northern Division.
Jonjon Gabriel added 16 points and eight boards.
Rodel Vaygan fired 28 points and five caroms for the Tamaraws, who are officially eliminated from playoff contention.
Manila-Frontrow 133: Lastimosa 27, Gabriel 16, Espinas 15, Lee 12, Go 12, Montilla 10, Abrigo 8, Bitoon 8, Matias 8, Dionisio 6, Tallo 5, Laude 2, Lopez 2, Manalo
Mindoro-JAC Liner 101: Vaygan 28, Baracael 18, Bangeles 15, Mandreza 12, Abanes 10, Matias 6, Osicos 5, Astrero 3, Acedillo 2, Axalan 2.
Quarterscores: 26-19, 65-43, 94-78, 133-101. (PNA)