Kiefer Ravena and Mighty Sports completed a six-game sweep of the first round but not after getting tested by an equally tough SCTEX squad, 74-70, on Friday night in the PCBL Chairman’s Cup at the Marikina Sports Center.
Ravena finished with 19 points and got plenty of help from import Bright Akhuetie, who recorded his sixth double-double performance, and Allan Mangahas as Mighty Sports ended its first round campaign unscathed in this tournament supported by Ambucore, LGR, Spalding, During’s Barbeque and Restaurant, Gerry’s Grill and Hahn Manila.
Akhuetie had 16 points and 15 rebounds while the ex-pro Mangahas added 11 markers off the bench.
The 5-foot-11 Mangahas, who played briefly for Meralco Bolts in the PBA, pumped in four of his 11 points in the last quarter, including the go-ahead free throws.
Biyaheng SCTEX’s bid to force overtime was unsuccessful after Mangahas made a crucial steal, paving the way for John Lopez’s split from the free throw line that sealed the deal, time down to 6.8 seconds.
For Mighty Sports head coach Mike Fermin, winning its last game in a tightly-fought match was a sign of tougher games ahead in the next round.
“We needed games like this. We need to be tested and we expect tougher games in the second round,” said Fermin.
In the second game, Foton bucked injuries to key players by coming up with an inspired game in surviving Jumbo Plastic, 87-82.
Already without its main man Levi Hernandez and import Ibrahim Ouattara, the number of casualties piled up even more for the Toplander.
Despite the odds, the Toplander were able to pull this one behind Jerick Nacpil’s steady play and Marvin Moraga’s clutch basket in the fourth period to forge a tie for fourth spot with their victim at 3-4.
Mighty Sports (74) – Ravena 19, Akhuetie 16, Mangahas 11, Lopez 7, Tang 5, Montilla 5, Bringas, M. 4, Celada 3, Gonzaga 2, Banal 2, Bringas, A. 0.
SCTEX (70) – Villarias 17, Pangilinan 12, Raymundo 11, Batino 9, Aguara 7, Del Rosario 6, Soyud 4, Hermida 2, Reyes 2, Vitug 0.
Quarterscores: 19-17; 35-40; 56-59; 74-70
Foton (87) – Nacpil 18, Ablaza 17, Reyes 14, Rivera 14, Moraga 9, Gomez 6, Enriquez 5, Penaflor 4, Ouattara 0.
Jumbo Plastic (82) – Martinez 18, Arafat 16, Viernes 12, Santos 8, Bitoon 8, Arellano 6, Siruma 6, Eguilos 4, Perez 2, Ibay 2, Taganas 0.
Quarterscores: 20-15; 49-36; 69-55; 87-82.