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Jeruta scores go-ahead bucket as Iloilo nips Zamboanga, moves up to fourth spot in North

by Niel Victor Masoy, January 19, 2020 12:49am

Aaron Jeruta scored the game-winning layup as Iloilo beat Zamoboanga, 60-58, on Saturday night in the Chooks-to-Go Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) Lakan Cup at the University of San Agustin Gym in Iloilo City.

With the game tied at 58-apiece, Jeruta drove to the basket and converted on a layup to give the home team a two-point lead with 11.4 seconds left in regulation.

Zamboanga had two chances to salvage the win, but it botched both as Anton Assistio and Santi Santillan missed their respective three-point attempts.

Jeruta - a homegrown talent of Iloilo - finished with five points, seven rebounds, and four assists, while Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Draftee Rey Publico cashed in 14 points and nine boards.

Ex-PBA player Al Francis Tamsi topscored for Iloilo with 17 points on top of three rebounds as also PBA Draftee Richard Escoto punched in 13 markers, four caroms, and four dimes.

The Royals snapped their two-game skid and improved to a 16-10 slate, moving up to the fifth spot in the South Division team standings which Zamboanga occupied before the game.

The Family Sardines-backed Zamboanga saw its four-game winning run come to an end as it fell to a 16-11 record and moved down to the sixth spot in the North.

Zamboanga jumped on Iloilo with a 19-9 assault, setting up its control of the ball game for long stretches. The visiting team led by as much as 11 points, 25-14, in the second quarter, but the Royals trimmed down the lead and got within six points, 51-45, after the third period.

An 8-1 start capped by a Ryan Arambulo trey gave Iloilo the advantage, 53-52, with 6:46 to go in the final canto. Santillan buried a trey to swing back the lead to Zamboanga but Escoto tied the game at 55-all with a layup at the 5:36 mark.

Ex-pro Raffy Reyes shoved Zamboanga ahead by a point as he split his charities, but Publico also split his freebies and scored on a putback for a 58-56 Royals spread with 57 seconds left.

13 seconds later, Santillan hit a floater on the other end to tie the game at 58-apiece. 

Jerson Prado tried to push Iloilo ahead once more but ex-pro Hans Thiele blocked his layup. Fortunately for the Royals, the ball ended up Tamsi at the 20.6 second mark.

Tamsi then found Jeruta, who scored on a driving layup to give his hometown the victory.

Alvin Pasaol paced Zamboanga with 14 points, eight rebounds, five assists, and two steals as Santillan backstopped him with 15 points and five caroms.

Aaron Black chipped in eight points and four rebounds for the visiting team that went for naught.

 

The scores:

Iloilo 60 -- Tamsi 17, Publico 14, Escoto 13, Jeruta 5, Racho 5, Arambulo 3, Prado 2, Parker 1, Gumaru 0, Mahari 0, Pantin 0, Li 0.

Zamboanga 58 -- Santillan 15, Pasaol 14, Black 8, Rono 6, Reyes 5, Thiele 3, Villamor 3, Manzo 2, De Vera 2, Bonsubre 0, Asistio 0, Arboleda 0, Morido 0.

Quarters: 11-19, 32-35, 45-51, 60-58.

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