EMILIO Aguinaldo College rode on the hot hands of Rustan Bugarin and Juju Bautista to overwhelm New San Jose Builders, 93-82, in the 2016 MBL Open basketball tournament at the EAC gym in MAlate, Manila.
Bugarin and Bautista combined for 36 points for the Generals, who outscored the Builders, 36-16, in the second quarter en route to their second straight win in the single-round tournament sponsored by Smart Sports, Ironcon Builders, Star Bread, Dickies Underwear and Gerry’s Grill.
Bugarin finished with 21 points while Bautista added 15 points for the Bong Melocoton-mentored Generals, who debuted with a 74-70 win over Philippine Air Force last week.
Jethro Mendoza added 12 points, including three straight three-points during a fiery second-quarter blast for the Generals to take a commanding 56-33 lead at halftime.
Two other players -- Jeanu Carlo and Gano and Jerome Garcia -- also scored in double figures with 11 and 10 points, respectively.
Nikko Lao, Kevin Sumay and Jayson Grimaldo carried the fight for NSJBI of coach Rainier Carpio and playing manager Jomar Acuzar.
Lao topscored withh 22 points, including 11 of NSJBI’s 31 third-quarter points that made the game interesting.
Sumay added 17 and Grimaldo contributed 11 for NSJBI, which dropped to 0-5.
MBL chairman Alex Wang said the top two teams after the single-round elimination will advance to the semis outright with twice-to-beat advantages.
The No. 3 and the No. 6 teams and the No. 4 team and No. 5 team will clash in a pair of knockout matches to determine the other two semifinalists.
EAC (93) -- Bugarin 21, Bautista 15, J. Mendoza 12, Gano 11, Garcia 10, Umali 6, Diego 4, Gonzales 4, Martin 4, N. Mendoza 4, Cayabo 2, Altiche 0, Estacio 0, Rosales 0.
San Jose (82)--Lao 22, Sumay 17, Grimaldo 11, Decano 10, Junsay 8, Baliday 8, Palogan 6, Telles 0, De la Cruz 0, Aurelio 0.
Quarterscores: 20-17, 56-33, 77-64, 93-82. Ed Andaya