SUBIC -- Philippine Merchant Marine School relied on the 1-2 punch of Domark Matillano and Daryl Margaja to subdue Rizal Technological University, 77-65, and keep their chances alive at the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) gym late Saturday.
Matillano and Margaja combined for 23 of the team’s 29 third-quarter points as the Mariners took control of the game shown live on national television over Solar Sports en route to their fourth straight win after a dismal 1-4 start.
So impressive were the Mariners that they even took a 20-point lead, 75-55, in the fourth quarter after trailing by five at halftime before allowing the Blue Thunder to narrow the gap to what it was in the end.
Matillano finished with 25 points on 4-of-11 shooting from the three-point line, while Margaja added 19 points while keeping RTU’s top gunner Cyrus Tabi in check.
Margaja was voted as ‘Best Player of the Game’.
Tabi, the Blue Thunder’s main offensive weapon, was limited to only eight points in 34 minutes of action.
Kerr Bangeles stepped up for the Johnedel Cardel-mentored Thunder with 25 points and seven rebounds while Storm Riva added 17 points and four assists.
The game marked a milestone in the NAASCU’s 16-year history as the first-ever game aired live over national TV through the facilities of Solar Sports.
Equally impressive was host Lyceum of Subic Bay held off repeated rallies by De Ocampo Memorial College to eke out a 110-100 win.
Carl Michael Lumbao topscored for the Sharks with 28 points, including two free throws that sealed their sixth win in nine matches.
Kevin Pelaez, who was named as ‘Best Player of the Game’ added 18 points and seven rebounds to the delight of a big, wildly-cheering home crowd.
It was the second straight home win at SBMA for the Kerwin McKoy-mentored Sharks after they defeated Our Lady of Fatima University, 86-72, last Sept. 8.
Nono Macasling led the way for the Cobras with 24 points, five assists and four steals.
Dahrell Caranguian added 19 points, but only two points in the first half, for the Cobras, who skidded out of the playoff picture with a 6-5 record.
The NAASCU resumes today with a five-game bill at the Makati Coliseum.
PNMS (77) -- Matillano 25, Margaja 19, Debulcos 8, Yagonia 7, Villamayor 7, Chan 5, Mboe 4, Quilatan 2, Attas 2, Antonares 2, Regero 0.
RTU (65) -- Bangeles 25, Riva 17, Tabi 8, Liquinan 5, Tilos 3, Flores 3, Estoce 2, Asuncion 2, Senires 0, Reyes 0.
Quartercores: 14-14, 22-27, 51-45, 77-65.
Lyceum (110) -- Lumbao 28, Pelaez 18, Fomera 14, Siewe 14, Saludo 12, Castillo 10, del Rosario 7, Jacaban 4, Timpog 2, Falaminiano 1, Hansen 0.
De Ocampo (100) -- Macasling 24, Caranguian 19, Fabro 15, Sabasaje 13, Clarito 11, Wenceslao 9, Simon 3, Pascual 2, Canelas 2, Ramos 2, Gallardo 0, Manalang 0, Montojo 0, de la Cruz 0.
Quartercores: 24-11, 53-33, 81-63, 110-100.