MARK Cruz completed a triple-double in his Pampanga debut as the Giant Lanterns beat the GenSan Warriors, 94-85, in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) Season 3 Lakandula Cup at the Caloocan Sports Complex.
Cruz was impressive in his first game back to competitive basketball after a long layoff, compiling 16 points, 11 rebounds, and 12 assists for a Pampanga side that signed him toward the end of last season.
Cruz became only the second MPBL player to tally a triple-double in his first game in the league, joining Andoy Estrella of the Quezon City Capitals.
Pampanga’s win spoiled the much-awaited league debut of Fil-American guard Mikey Williams, who had 27 points and 10 rebounds for GenSan.
“First game pa lang ‘yan. Marami pang games, 31 teams ito. 29 games pa. Malayong-malayo pa. It’s just a good thing na nanalo kami and it’s a big factor for the next games,” said new Pampanga coach Bong Ramos, who recently coached Blackwater in the PBA.
Michael Juico topscored for Pampanga with 21 points while Travis Thompson and Levi Hernandez had 11 points each.