DEFENDING champion FEU-NRMF-Gerry's Grill downed erstwhile unbeaten Colegio de San Lorenzo-V Hotel, 91-57, in the 2017 MBL Open basketball championship at the PNP Sports Center in Camp Crame.
Fil-German Glen Gravengard scored 21 including four triples, while last year’s MVP Clay Crellin added 18 points highlighted by two dunks as the Tamaraws notched their fifth win in six outings.
Veteran Erwin Sta. Maria added 12 points Tamaraws, while all other players fielded in by coach Pido Jarencio, including former UST star Kareem Abdul and Moustapha Arafat, did well for the victory they dedicated to assistant team manager Ricky Simpao.
Simpao passed away due to heart attack on Saturday. He was 54.
"This win is for our manager (Simpao)," said Gravengard, who hit his first four shots in the Tamaraws' blinding start that took the fight out of the Griffins.
Dominic Formento had 14 points for the Boni Garcia-mentored Griffins, who never recovered after falling behind by double digits early.
CdSL top gunner Soulemane Chabi Yo was held to only five points, his lowest production in seven games.
The Griffins hold a 6-1 record and now share the top spot with Philippine Christian University, while FEU is alone in third followed by Diliman College (3-2), MLQU (2-4), Wang’s (2-5), PNP (1-6) and Emilio Aguinaldo College (1-6) in the tournament sponsored by Smart Sports, Star Bread, Dickies Underwear, Ironcon Builders and Gerry's Grill.
PNP Chief Gen. Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa attended the game, along with MBL vice chairman Jimi Lim.
“Stay in sports and enjoy the game,” Dela Rosa told players who took selfies with him.
FEU 91 — Gravengard 21, Crellin 18, Sta. Maria 12, Bautista 10, Gumabay 8, Abdul 4, Arafat 4, Diwa 4, Manalo 4, Zamora 2, A. Santos 2, J. Santos 2, Tan 0.
San Lorenzo 57 — Formento 14, Castanares 11, Rosas 8, Paclarin 8, Alvarado 6, Chabi Yo 5, Borja 4, Laman 2, Gohar 3, De la Cruz 2, Nuyda 2, Paclarin 0, Calizo 0.
Quarterscores: 26-12; 44-21; 63-40; 91-57.