ANGELES CITY -- Navotas proved that it has made the right moves in the ongoing trading and drafting of players in the free agent market and on Wednesday night, the new recruits showed they could fit well with their new squad.
Veteran point guard Jai Reyes scored 18 points while hardworking Marlon Gomez came away with a double-double effort and the newest Clutch towed their team to a 90-83 victory over the Parañaque Patriots-F2 Logistics here at the Angeles University Foundation Gymnasium.
Picked up in a trade with Caloocan for Monbert Arong, Reyes didn't have much difficulty fitting to a team that also includes Ron Dennison, Matt Salem and Kris Porter, his teammates in the PBA D-League.
"Hindi mahirap yung transition," Reyes said. "Kasi naglalaro rin dito sa Navotas yung mga teammates ko sa D-League, plus I know Coach Ritchie Ticzon almost all my life."
The inclusion of Reyes gave the Clutch veteran presence they needed in arresting back-to-back setbacks. Navotas improved its win-loss mark to 5-6 while dealing Parañaque its sixth loss in 12 games.
While Reyes had become a welcome addition in the backcourt, Gomez, a do-it-all big man, who was acquired by Navotas in exchange for Levi Hernandez, provided the intangibles and additional inside presence for the Clutch.
His double-double effort of 15 points and 14 rebounds were testament enough proof at how solid contributor he is.
"Marlon is here to stay for us. He's the big man that we need. Siguro, ang only reason for us to release him is if he's moving up to the PBA," added Ticzon.
Makati edged home team Pampanga, 69-67, in the second game.
Jeckster Apinan led the way with 15 points, while Cedric Ablaza contributed 13. Ex-pro Rudy Lingganay and John Rey Villanueva added 12 apiece for the Skyscrapers, who improved their win-loss record to 7-4 and atoned from their previous setback against Cebu.