QUEZON CITY – Tanduay Rhum gave Blustar Detergent a rude welcome into the 2016 PBA D-League Foundation with a sound 94-71 beating Monday (June 13) at the Jesus Christ Saves Global Outreach Gym. The Rhum Masters settled the outcome as early as the first period as they jumped to a 37-12 lead behind the hits of starters Val Acuna, Jeoffrey Javillonar and Louie Vigil.
Recovering slightly from the opening salvo, the Dragons settled down Ting Chun Hong and Kuek Tian Yuan able to match the Rhum Masters shot for shot. However, it hardly mattered as every player fielded by Coach Lawrence Chongson contributed in holding off Blustar’s attempts to close the gap and expanded Tanduay’s lead to as much as 36 points early in the final canto, 85-49.
“This is a good bounce back game for us after we lost to Phoenix last time,” said Coach Chongson. “We take care of our own business and it so happened that it was Blustar on our schedule.”
Despite the blowout, Dragons coach Goh Chang Huat remained optimistic. “We came here to learn and it will be a bonus if we make the playoffs,” said Coach Goh, who also handles the Malaysian national team.
Featuring the core of the reigning ASEAN Basketball League champion Westports Malaysia Dragons, Blustar faces a tough schedule ahead as they play six games in the next six playing dates. They will then return home for a respite and fly back to finish their last five games towards the end of the elimination round.
Acuna scored 12 of his team-high 14 points in the first period. Javillonar was next with 13 points, eight made in the first period.
The lanky Kuek topped the Dragons with 23 points and 13 rebounds. Wong Yi Hou started the game with a layup and a free throw to give Blustar its only lead of the game, 3-0, ended up with 12 points.
How They Scored:
TANDUAY RHUM (94) – Acuna 14, Javillonar 13, Celda 11, Mendoza 10, Vigil 10, Alolino 9, Santos 6, Enguio 5, Lingganay 5, Belencion 3, Tagarda 3, Stevens 3, Gotladera 2, Acibar 0.
BLUSTAR (71) – Kuek 23, Wong 12, Ting 11, Ma 9, Choo 5, Yeo 4, Liaw 3, Teo 3, Mak 1, Ong 0, Palma 0, Kamaruddin 0.
Period Scores: 37-12, 51-26, 71-47, 94-71.