Defending champion MDX/Armatech passed its acid test with flying colors after dominating Bayani/LBT Appraisal, 84-71, during the second game in the 2012 UFO Masters Budweiser Cup last Thursday night at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium.
The 13-point win gave MDX a clean 4-0 record, one win away from sweeping the first round of the two-round robin league. Bayani, which was anticipated to match up well against the deep roster of MDX, did not live up to expectations and fell to a 1-1 record.
MDX leaned on its impressive 3-point shooting to gain control of the game early, while Bruce Berline asserted his might in the paint to foil Bayani's rally in the fourth quarter.
James Abuy canned two triples and finished with 10 points in the opening period, while Martin Moreno drained one trey and added three more points for their 25-17 advantage.
The lead ballooned to 17 at the break, 47-30, as Abuy, Moreno, and Jinang nailed one triple each in the second period, while Berline and fellow big man Art Trajano took care of the boards for several second chance points.
MDX tasted its biggest lead in the third, 61-36, as it continued to have a well-run offense, while Bayani still could not find the right combination to get its game going. Bayani then managed to cut the deficit to 17 at the end of the third, 46-63, as MDX starters sat down in the last three minutes of that quarter.
Bayani continued its comeback and moved within 10, 62-72, after Tony Diaz's banked triple, 4:42 left on the clock. However, that was the closest Bayani could get, as Berline returned to the floor and threw the killer blows.
The MDX center connected on a turnaround jumper, followed by an undergoal stab that also drew a foul on Edwin Santos. Berline missed the bonus shot, but trooped to the stripe anew after MDX got the offensive board and this time he made both charities for a safe 78-62 lead, only 1:45 remaining in the match
Berline finished with a game-high 21 points, scoring eight of MDX's last 12 points, while Abuy and Moreno also had double digits with 12 and 11, respectively.
Alex Ocampo top-scored for Bayani with 15, but 8 of them came in the first quarter, as he was a non-factor in the remaining three periods. The rest of Bayani's big men struggled against Berline and company.
VisMinda 72, MAFEA 63
In the curtain raiser, VisMinda/Hi-Five notched its first win in two games after prevailing over MAFEA/CMI (0-3).
After falling behind in the first period, 16-17, VisMinda took over in the last three quarters behind its balance offense for the 11-point win. Four players contributed double figures with Ramil Santos nailing 14, Norman Olfindo adding 11, and Sandy Quimbao and Bobby Geli drilling 10 apiece.
Santos fired eight of his total points in the second canto, turning a 16-17 deficit to a 34-30 halftime advantage. His teammates then stepped up in the third to up the lead to 7, 52-45, while Olfindo ran the show in the fourth, making 8 of his 11 points in the final period.
VisMinda/Hi-Five 72 - Santos 14, Olfindo 11, Geli 10, Quimbao 10, Bello 8, Miguel 8, De Belen 8, Yap 2.
MAFEA/CMI 63 - Surima 17, Malicden 13, Sevilla 10, Paraiso 7, Leong 4, Guirey 4, Garcia 2, Jose 2, Jastillana 2.
Scoring by quarters: 16-17, 34-30, 52-45, 72-63.
MDX/Armatech 84 - Berline 21, Abuy 12, Moreno 11, Jinang 9, Trajano 9, Poquiz 4, Montano 4, Tobias 4, Malasarte 4, Crisostomo 2.
Bayani/LBT Appraisal 71 - Ocampo 15, Diaz 11, F. Palacios 10, De La Torre 8, J. Palacios 6, Santos 5, Pineda 4, Bicera 2, Tiples 2, Saahagun 1.
Scoring by quarters: 25-17, 47-30, 63-46, 84-71.