MICHAEL Ayonayon and Jon Von Tambeling combined for 61 points as Philippine Christian University downed Far Eastern University-NRMF-Gerry's Grill, 98-97, in the 2017 MBL Open basketball championship at the EAC Sports Center.
PCU scored its second straight win to take a share of the lead with Colegio de San Lorenzo-V Hotel.
Ayonayon had 31 points, including 21 in the second half.
Tambeling, who earned MVP honor in PCU's runner-up in the MBL last year, added 30 points.
"We surprised them with our running game. They have the experience, so we turned to our youth," said PCU coach Elvis Tolentino, who called the shots together with his father, Ato Tolentino.
Fil-Canadian Clay Crellin led the way for FEU with 23 points, including three three-pointers, Glen Gravengard added 18 points, while Erwin Sta. Maria and Raniel Jake Diwa contributed 16 each for the Tamaraws of coach Pido Jarencio and manager Nino Reyes.
Former PBA star Jerwin Gaco was held to only two points and went 0-of-4 from the line in limited minutes.
It was FEU-NRMF’s first loss in four games in the tournament supported by Smart Sports, Ironcon Builders, Star Bread, Dickies Underwear and Gerry's Grill.
PCU 98 - Ayonayon 31, Tambeling 30, Pallatao 10, Mescallado 8, Apreku 7, Vasquez 5, Sazon 3, Sumalacay 2, Malto 2, Bautista 0.
FEU-Gerry's Grill 97 - Crellin 23, Gravengard 18, Sta. Maria 16, Diwa 16, Zamora 6, Gumabay 6, Santos 4, Harry 2, Gaco 2, Tabi 2, Gonzales 2, Tan 0.
Quarterscores: 23-21; 43-42; 69-61; 98-97.