By Adrian Stewart Co
Iloilo United Royals vented its ire on All-Star Bacolod Ballers with an 85-62 beating in the 2021 Chooks-To-Go MPBL Invitational yesterday at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
Chito Jaime waxed hot with 28 points, including seven three-point conversions, while Mac Racho added 11 markers as the United Royals moved up to 2-1 win-loss slate.
The United Royals made its presence felt early behind Jaime and Gelo Vito for a 25-8 edge. Iloilo’s domination continued in the second period behind Racho to build a 41-20 halftime edge.
The Ballers showed some life in the third quarter as it trimmed the deficit to 42-50 but the United Royals regained its offense as the lead reached its largest at 82-56 on a Matt Santiago layup.
Kimlee Bayquin tallied 12 points, while Carl Soriano chipped in 10 markers as the Ballers suffered its first defeat after starting the 13-day MPBL tournament with 2-0.
Meanwhile, the United Royals has also put on protest their 90-69 defeat over Pasig-Sta. Lucia Realtors due to the latter’s excessive collegiate players on its 12-man roster for that game.
According to United Royals president JJ Javelosa, their initial protest on Tuesday was denied by MPBL commissioner Kenneth Duremdes but they are working on a motion for reconsideration.
“I understand that a team can field 12 players in a game and 1/3 of that can be college players which has SGL ID from the Games and Amusement Board which means 4,” Javelosa said in his letter.
“Pasig played 5 college players that have SGL ID. If the current FIBA rules adapted by the league (is to) be followed, a win should be credited to Iloilo United Royals for the violation made by team Pasig,” he added.
During the Iloilo game, Pasig has fielded in Colegio de San Juan de Letran Knights’ Fran Yu, Jeo Ambohot, Allen Mina, and Ken Calaripio and Arellano University Chiefs’ Justin Arana./ASC, WDJ