ALCANTARA—Monbert Arong proved clutch in crunchtime as he sank one big shot after another to lift the ARQ Builders Lapu-Lapu Heroes past the Bohol Mariners, 61-55, in the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup on Wednesday night at the Alcantara Civic Center in Alcantara, Cebu.
After getting wrongly implicated in the controversial game against the Mystics last week, Arong was looking to redeem himself and the left-handed gunner did so in spectacular fashion. Down two, 53-55, to a hungry Mariners squad that was looking for its first win of the tournament, Arong found himself open in the corner and sank a booming three-pointer to give ARQ the lead, 56-55, with 1:22 remaining.
Then, after Bohol’s Mac Montilla and Joseph Marquez missed on their possession, Arong sped down the floor for an uncontested layup to raise the Heroes’ lead to three, 58-55, time down to 51 seconds. The next time down the floor, Arong drove hard down the right wing and converted on an acrobatic layup to give ARQ a 60-55 advantage with 17 seconds remaining in the match.
Although Arong had a tough night shooting the ball, he made it when it counted the most and ended up with 15 points to go with seven rebounds and two assists to help the Heroes end the first round with a 3-2 (win-loss) record.
Vincent Minguito paced ARQ with 16 points, eight boards and four dimes while Fletcher Galvez came off the bench and chipped in 11. Veteran forward Hafer Mondragon and homegrown talent Chris Regero lorded over the glass as they hauled in a combined 25 boards.
Joseph Marquez led Bohol with 13 points and 13 rebounds. However, the Mariners still could not get over the hump and remain winless in five outings.
Lapu-Lapu (61)—Minguito 16, Arong 15, Galvez 11, Berame 9, Solis 4, Abad 3, Mondragon 3, Regero 0, Igot 0
Bohol (55)—Marquez 13, Llagas 8, Musngi 8, Cabizares 6, Montilla 6, Dadjijul 6, Ibarra 4, Casera 2, Leonida 2
Quarterscores: 17-17, 33-27, 39-41, 61-55