LIVING up to the hype, Ignite impressed in its debut as it took down the Santa Cruz Warriors, 109-104, on Thursday (Manila time) at AdventHealth Arena in Orlando.
Five-star prospect Jonathan Kuminga seized the spotlight for the select team', scoring 19 points on 9-of-18 shooting to go with his four assists and two blocks.
His biggest rejection came down the stretch as he denied Jordan Poole's drive which led to Daishen Nix icing the game from the charity stripe late in the game.
NBA veteran Jarrett Jack paced Ignite with 23 points on a perfect 3-of-3 clip from downtown. Brandon Ashley almost had a double-double with his 17 points and nine rebounds, while Jalen Green had 11 points and five boards.
Ignite led by 10, 103-93, with 3:14 remaining before Santa Cruz made a huge run to cut the deficit down to three, 103-100, with 1:41 left.
Ignite had to lean on Kuminga's heroics down the stretch.
The select team turns its attention to the Oklahoma City Blue on Saturday (Manila time).
Ignite played without Filipino talent Kai Sotto, who is in the Philippines training with Gilas Pilipinas for the third window of the 2021 Fiba Asia Cup qualifiers in Doha.
Poole led the Warriors with 22 points, as Jeremy Lin added 18 points, five rebounds, and three steals in the loss.