The Iloilo United Royals scored an 83-73 win over the Bulacan Kuyas last Wednesday in the ongoing Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Lakan Cup at the Angeles University Foundation (AUF) gymnasium in Angeles City, Pampanga.
Richard Escoto top-scored for Iloilo with 14 points, while Al Francis Tamsi added 11 markers, and Rey Publico and Erick Rodriguez each chipped in 10.
Holding to a slim 28-24 lead at the half, Iloilo slowly created distance in the third period behind Escoto, Rodriguez, Publico, and John Mahari for a 54-40 edge.
Into the fourth, they continued their scoring spree with conversions from Escoto, Tamsi, and Jasper Parker contributing to a 13-point lead with just over five minutes left in the game.
Bulacan made their final push and cut the deficit to as low as eight points but free throws from Escoto, along with conversions from Rodriguez and Aaron Jeruta, sealed the win for Iloilo.
“Yung pinakamahirap na i-achieve sa isang bagong team is ‘yung consistency (The hardest thing for a new team to achieve is consistency),” said Iloilo head coach Eric Gonzales. “Nasa honeymoon stage pa kami kasi two months pa lang (Our honeymoon stage only lasted two months).”/ASC, WDJ