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Ilonggo Jeruta glad to finally gift Iloilo a win at its home turf

by Niel Victor Masoy, January 19, 2020 3:53pm

After three tries, the Iloilo United Royals finally gave their home crowd a victory.

This, after Iloilo stopped Zamboanga, 60-58, on Saturday night in the Chooks-to-Go Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Lakan Cup at the University of San Agustin Gym.

Aaron Jeruta, who hails from Brgy. Tigbak, Jaro, Iloilo, was just glad that he and the rest of the Royals were finally to reciprocate the Ilonggos' support with a win at their home turf.

"Nanalo rin kami sa wakas dito sa home court namin after three games. Sobrang nakakatuwa makita yung mga fans na nagi-enjoy sila dahil sa wakas nakapanalo na kami dito," said Jeruta.

But it wasn't just simply a win for Iloilo.

It was a victory where the city's proud son in Jeruta delivered the game winning layup after struggling on the offensive end for almost the entire contest.

With the game tied at 58-apiece, the 5-foot-10 guard drove to the basket and scored on a layup against the defense of Robi Roño with 10 seconds left.

The Royals' defense then forced Anton Asistio and Santi Santillan to missed their respective three-point attempts to take the triumph.

"Doon sa game winner ko, pinagkatiwalaan ako ng coaches ko kahit na ang pangit talaga ng laro ko, sa tingin nila may mailalabas pa ako come crunch time," said Jeruta, who shot 1-of-6 from the field before his go-ahead bucket.

"Ilang game nang gigil na gigil siya. Sa wakas naman ay nabigyan siya ng chance for that bucket," Iloilo head coach Eric Gonzales said of Jeruta.

Jeruta finished with five points, seven rebounds, and four assists the win that shoved Iloilo to the fifth spot in the South Division team standings.

Zamboanga, which fell to a 16-11 slate, occupied that fifth place before its loss.

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