By Jerome Lagunzad
Thrust to the full coaching role after carrying the colors of Jose Rizal University, 24-year-old Gio Lasquety got more than what he asked for from his former teammates.
Firing on all cylinders, the Heavy Bombers proved too hot to handle for newcomer Mila’s Lechon Mighty Roasters, 96-67, yesterday for an auspicious start in the PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
Former pro Jeckster Apinan dominated down low with game-highs of 20 points and 14 rebounds while forward Ervin Grospe and guard Paolo Pontejos added 14 points each as JRU turned what started a tight match into a breeze.
“Nalampasan nila ‘yung expectations ko. Hindi ko inakala na maglalaro sila ng ganitong kaganda,” said Lasquety, the league’s youngest mentor who has earned the trust and confidence of JRU coach Vergel Meneses.
In the other match, Zark’s Burgers-Lyceum rode on a roaring start for a 109-85 victory over AMA Online Education.
CJ Perez banged in 11 of his 15 points in the first half while Cameroonian center Mike Nzeusseu highlighted his 17-point, 10-rebound showing with a rim-rattling left-handed throwdown over Andre Paras in the final period.
JRU 96 — Apinan 20, Grospe 16, Pontejos 14, Esguerra 9, Dela Virgen 9, Tayongtong 8, Ramos 4, Mendoza 4, Bordon 4, Yu 3, Mvogo 3, Silvarez 2, Sawat 0, De Guzman 0.
MILA’S LECHON 67 — Gabo 14, Estrella 13, Acibar 9, Sarangay 7, Iñigo 5, Parala 5, Derige 4, Delfinado 4, Deles 2, Crisostomo 2, Herradura 2, Luz 0, Bellosillo 0, Montuano 0.
Quarters: 18-22, 39-29, 68-50, 96-67.