Defending champion KFC/Taco Bell got a big lift from two of its new recruits to pull off a 74-66 win over Hip Hop and recover from its debut loss in the DLX/Gualo Rai Invitational Basketball League last Monday at the Gualo Rai Basketball Court.
KFC/Taco Bell, which bowed to Brgy. San Antonio in the league opener on July 28, 65-73, drew about half of their total production from Angelo Fernando and Erick Dela Rosa, who are among the new players on the defending champion's roster in the second edition of the DLX caging.
Fernando fired a game-high 20 points, while Dela Rosa added 13. KFC mainstay JR Deleon Guerrero was the third player on the team to score in double figures with 12.
KFC/Taco Bell held Hip Hop to 9 points in the opening quarter to take early control of the game and hung in there with Fernando, Dela Rosa, and Deleon Guerrero taking turns in making rally-halting baskets to foil Hip Hop's repeated comeback bids.
Fernando had his best game in the third, nailing 10 of his total output to keep KFC in the driver's seat, 54-48. The defending champion led by as much as 13 in the second period with Dela Rosa contributing 6 markers before Hip Hop made a mini run to move within nine at the break, 24-33.
Hip Hop behind Rolly Paraiso's baskets kept coming back in the second half, but could not overhaul the lead, as Deleon Guerrero stepped up in the fourth quarter, drilling 7 markers in the homestretch.
Hip Hop went on to absorb its second loss in as many games. It fell to San Antonio last Saturday, 65-70.
LD Prime 85, QQ 71
In the curtain raiser, LD Prime won its debut game after crushing QQ Rent A Car.
The match was a close one after three quarters before LD Prime turned on the heat in the fourth quarter, outgunning QQ, 22-10, en route to the 14-point win.
LD Prime was ahead by only two at the end of the third period, 63-61, when it held QQ to three field goals in the fourth canto for the easy win. No QQ player scored more than three points in the fourth-quarter collapse and the team fell to a 0-2 record.
Sonny Lerio outscored the entire QQ crew in the fourth canto, 12-10, and the LD Prime gunner finished the match with a game-high 28 points. White Capalad added 23.
LD Prime 85 - Lerio 28, Capalad 23, Magtuloy 13, Banatasa 7, Hernaez 5, Quemado 3.
QQ Rent A Car 71 - Sison 14, Mangadem 12, Concepcion 12, Acosta 8, Lansang 7, Bondoc 4, Saplan 4, Montes 2.
Scoring by quarters: 18-22, 45-39, 63-61, 85-71.
KFC/Taco Bell 74 - Fernando 20, Dela Rosa 13, J. Deleon Guerrero 12, Ninja 9, Francisco 8, Maranan 6, Factor 6.
Hip Hop 66 - Paraiso 18, N. Mateo 15, Sacramento 9, Norita 7, Vertudez 6, Devero 5, D. Mateo 2, Cortez 2.
Scoring by quarters: 16-9, 33-24, 54-48, 74-66.