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    AICC Manila holds off San Juan to become first Filbasket champ

    Nov 22, 2021
    AICC Manila Filbasket champion
    AICC Manila celebrates the championship.
    PHOTO: Filbasket

    AICC Manila captured the inaugural tournament of Filbasket, beating San Juan Knights-Go For Gold in the winner-take-all Game Three, 72-68, on Monday night at the Subic Bay Gymnasium.

    Michael Mabulac tallied 18 points, eight rebounds, and three steals while Chris Bitoon added 13 points and six rebounds as Manila won a Filbasket Subic Championship title series that went the distance.

    Gabo is Finals MVP

    Hesed Gabo finished with 10 points, three rebounds, and six assists on his way to winning the Finals MVP award as Manila tactician Jerson Cabiltes claimed the Coach of the Tournament.

    Mabulac led a 10-0 run that enabled AICC Manila to pull away, 36-25, in the second period. He also gave Manila its biggest lead, 48-35, on a lay-up in the third.

    Mabulac and Bitoon had four apiece in an 8-2 run for a 62-49 lead - which held to the end as AICC Manila completed its comeback from 0-1 down in the best-of-three finals.

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    It was actually the second championship this year for the core of AICC Manila, which also formed the Basilan Peace Riders team that won the title in the Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup.

    San Juan won Game One, 80-74, but lost Game Two, 74-70.

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      Rhenz Abando scored 17 points for the Knights, who once again finished bridesmaids after losing to Davao Occidental in the MPBL Lakan Season finals last year held in the same venue in Subic.

      Jhonard Clarito had 11 points including a trey that cut the deficit to two, 70-68, with 3.1 seconds but Ronjay Buenafe sealed the title with two free throws with 2.4 left.

      The scores:

      AICC Manila 72 – Mabulac 18, Bitoon 13, Gabo 10, Collado 9, Buenafe 8, Juico 5, Taganas 4, Balucanag 3, Uyloan 2, Eguilos 0, Ramirez 0, Manalang 0, Siruma 0, Bringas 0.

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      San Juan 68 – Abando 17, Clarito 11, Ular 10, Wamar 10, Calma 8, Hernandez 5, Nocum 5, Abundo 2, Rodriguez 0, Lacap 0, Bunag 0, Orbeta 0.

      Quarters: 20-17; 36-31; 54-45; 72-68.

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      AICC Manila celebrates the championship.
      PHOTO: Filbasket
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