FORMER PBA players Val Acuna and Lester Alvarez sparked an early Batangas run as the Athletics outlasted the Chris Gavina-mentored Valenzuela Classic, 73-65, in the MPBL Anta Rajah Cup on Saturday at the Muntinlupa Sports Complex.
While the Batangas supporters went home very happy, the home crowd was disappointed after Muntinlupa suffered an 82-76 loss to Navotas.
The 6-foot-3 Acuna scored 18 points highlighted by four triples.
“Maganda nashi-share naming sa mga teammates ko ngayon yung na-experience namin sa PBA,” said Alvarez, a member of the grand slam squad of San Mig Coffee in 2014.
“Talagang push hard kami sa practice, double yung effort, kasi kami inaasahan.”
Batangas raced to a 38-19 lead at the half, got outscored 29-18 in the third period, but recovered just in time to prevail.
Navotas turned to hot-shooting Yves Sazon, who responded with 24 points, including six three-point shots, for Navotas.
Veteran Egay Billones pulled the host team to within 76-74 inside the final two-minute mark, but Sazon scored a tough long jumper while Rey Publico added two more free throws to give Navotas some breathing space.