FAR Eastern University-NRMF unleashed a human dynamo in Clayton Crellin to bring down National Interclub champion Wang’s Ballclub, 85-74, and serve notice of its title aspirations in the 2016 MBL Open basketball tournament at the Aquinas gym in San Juan.
Crellin, a 6-4 Filipino-Canadian from Brackendale, British Columbia, exploded with a game-high 35 points while providing an energetic presence on both ends of the floor for FEU-NRMF of coach Pido Jarencio and manager Nino Reyes.
A former Canadian College All-Star MVP known for his seven-foot wing span and 37-inch vertical leap, Crellin did the most damage in the first two periods when he scored 23 points on several daring drives and breakaway dunks.
His finest moment came in the third quarter when he came from nowhere to intercept a pass by veteran Mar Reyes and gallop all the way to the other side for a slam.
Former Globalport Batang Pier mainstay Roider Cabrera added 14 points, while 6-6 Nigerian center Moustapha Arafat and former St. Clare College standout Milan Vargas contributed nine points each
Jonathan Banal, the 5-9 Mapua standout, finished with 17 points for Wang’s losing cause in the tournament sponsored by Smart Sports, Ironcon Builders, Star Bread, Dickies Underwear and Gerry’s Grill.
Banal, son of former PBA coach Koy Banal, scored six points during a 10-2 run that enabled Wang’s Ballclub to tie the score at 37-all.
Jason Perez and Macky Acosta added 15 and 14 for the Mandaluyong City-based team which is seeking another title under coach Pablo Lucas.
Globalport Batang Pier team manager Bonnie Tan made the ceremonial toss, assisted by MBL chairman Alex Wang and FEU-NRMF administrator Nino Reyes.
Wang said the participating teams will play single-round elimination with the top two teams advancing to the semis outright with twice-to-beat privileges.
Anthony Sulit is the commissioner.
FEU-NRMF (85) -- Crellin 35, Cabrera 14, Arafat 9, Vargas 9, Luanzon 5, Raymundo 4, Zamora 3, Asoro 2, Rodriguez 2, Gamboa 2, Billiones 0.
Wang’s Ballclub (74) -- Banal 17, Perez 15, Acosta 14, Lasco 9, Flores 8, Montemayor 6, Publico 5, Reyes 0, Juruena 0, Pascual 0.
Quarterscores: 21-15, 43-39, 65-55, 85-74.