By Ernest Hernandez
The MMDA Black Berets opened the 2018 16-and-under Metro Basketball Tournament with a win over Solid San Juan, 59-55, at the San Juan Gym last Sunday.
Solid San Juan started out strong with Matthew Calilong and John Brixter Castro combining for 10 of the team’s 13 points in the first quarter, holding a three-point lead headed into the second quarter.
The Black Wolves retaliated with Joshua Andres at the helm, producing 6 points, three rebounds, and three assists in the second period. This allowed the Black Berets to wrest and take a three-point lead at the half.
Picking up from where they left off, the Black Berets continue to ride on Andres’ back who poured in another 8 points in the third quarter. He got help this time around in Daniel James Natividad who chipped in 7 points, allowing MMDA to hold a 9-point lead heading into the final quarter.
San Juan’s Calilong tried to lead his team back into the game, unloading 8 points in the final stretch. However, MMDA held their ground to fend off the late surge en route to their first win of the tournament.
MMDA’s Andres finished with 16 points, eight assists, six rebounds and two steals while Natividad had 14 points to go with six assists and two steals. Joshua Carl Tawatao also had a fine showing, finishing with a double-double performance of 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Calilong was the only player who reached double figures for San Juan with 18 points, six rebounds but had seven turnovers.
The Black Berets who were led by sports director Atty. Chris Saruca will try to follow up their opening day win when they face the Pateros Mighty Ducks at 1 p.m. on Wednesday at the Paranaque Gym.
Also, Solid San Juan led by Hon. Mayor Guia Gomez and sports representative Morell Decena will try to bounce back against Taguig Generals at 2:30 pm.
MMDA Black Berets (59) – Andres 16, Natividad 12, Tawatao 12, Drio 7, Naga 5, Lichauco 2, Rance 2, Quijano 1, Gaitan 0, Sunga 9, Punongbayan 0, Sadol 0, Monserata 0, Montas 0, Rance 0.
Solid San Juan (55) – Calilong 18, Tolentino 8, Abalos 6, Bilaro 5, Agravante 4, J. Castro 4, Valeros 4, A. Castro 3, Quililan 2, Torrecarion 1, Patricio 0, Palomero 0, Teodoro 0, Mayono 0, Table 0, Gomez 0.
Quarters: 11-13, 29-26, 46-37, 59-55.