COLEGIO de San Lorenzo-V Hotel and Diliman College-JPA Freight Logistics rode on their talented African recruits to pull off smashing victories in the 2017 MBL Open basketball championship at the EAC Sports Center.
Chabi Soulmane mocked all defenders to score 31 points as CdSL overwhelmed Manuel Luis Quezon University-Victoria Sports, 89-79, for its second straight win.
Alex Diakhite led the way with 28 points in Diliman-JPA's 72-56 debut win over NCAA member Emilio Aguinaldo College.
The twin victories enabled the two collegiate teams known for their strong sports programs to serve notice of their title aspirations in this eight-team tournament sponsored by Smart Sports, Ironcon Builders, Star Bread, Dickies Underwear and Gerry's Grill.
Soulmane, the 6-6 workhorse from Nigeria, struck for 13 big points as the Griffins held off repeated rallies by the Stallions during a furious fourth-quarter battle.
Diakhite, Diliman's own 'Tower of Power,' used his height and heft advantage to the hilt to help the Blue Dragons of coach Rensy Bajar and managers Sen. Nikki Coseteng and Jerry Alday finish off the Generals.
Algie Chavenia added 11 pounts for the Quezon City-based team supported by MBR Sports and Gerry's Grill.
Jethro Mendoza paced EAC with 10 markers.
The Generals, who are using the tournament as part of their preparations for the coming NCAA, dropped to 0-4.
Diliman-JPA Freight (72) - Diakhite 28, Chavenia 11, Guerrero 6, Bauzon 6, Brutas 5, Curquez 5, Torrado 4, Sombero 3, Tay 2, Mbiya 2, Ligon 0.
EAC (56) - Mendoza 10, Ubay 9, Gonzales 7, Diego 6, General 6, Umali 4, Tampoc 4, Bugarin 2, Gano 2, Martin 2, Natividad 2, Cadua 2, Estacio 0.
Quarterscores: 22-15, 40-31, 55-44, 72-56.
CdSL-V Hotel (89) - Soulmane 31, Formento 13, Callano 11, Gabriel 10, Castanares 10, Alvarado 6, Maravilla 5, Rosas 3, Laman 0, Vargas 0.
MLQU-Victoria Sports (79) - Jamila 27, Grimaldo 17, Lao 15, Detubio 9, Asturiano 5, Decana 4, Pabila 2, De la Cruz 0, Perascosas 0.
Quarterscores: 19-17, 41-39, 66-57, 89-79.