MICHAEL Mabulac had 20 points and 13 rebounds as Cagayan Valley turned back MJM Builders, 94-86, on Thursday in the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup at the Ynares Sports Arena.
The Jose Rizal University star hit a jumper to stop an MJM rally in the fourth, helping the Rising Suns get their campaign to a winning start.
Cagayan Valley led by as many as 16 points, 75-59, but the young MJM squad, build around the core of UAAP Season 77 finalists Far Eastern University and National University, was able to trim the gap to 88-83.
Mabulac answered back with a jumper with 1:18 left in the game to widen the lead again for the Rising Suns.
“Hindi kami nag-relax dahil kagagaling lang sa finals ng UAAP ’yung MJM,” said Cagayan Valley assistant coach Nonoy Bonleon.
Alex Austria had 13 points, six assists, and four steals while Don Trollano and Andrian Celada each had 12 for the Rising Suns.
Mike Tolomia led the Builders with 15 points while Tristan Perez and Gelo Alolino added 13 each.
Cagayan Valley (94) – Mabulac 20, Austria 13, Trollano 12, Celada 12, Melano 9, Flores 7, Dilay 6, Tayongtong 6, Galliguez 5, Mag-isa 4.
MJM (86) – Tolomia 15, Alolino 13, Perez 13, Jose 12, Javelona 10, Khobuntin 7, Inigo 7, Mendoza 6, Cruz 2, Pogoy 1, Alberto 0.
Quarterscores: 26-14; 51-42; 75-62; 94-86.