(EAC Sports Center)
6 p.m. -- FEU-NRMF vs. EAC
7:30 p.m. -- PCU vs. PNP
DEFENDING champion FEU-NRMF-Gerry’s Grill leaned on the explosive duo of Clay Crellin and Glenn Gravengard to roll back Wang’s Ballclub-Asia Tech, 80-67, for its second straight win in the 2017 MBL Open basketball championship at the Aquinas gym in San Juan.
Crellin, the 6-4 Filipino-Canadian sensation who earned MVP honor last year, scored 15 points on a wide array of shots despite Wang’s double-teaming defense.
And Gravengard, a 6-1 Fil-German trying to make a name in local basketball, added 13 points in another solid effort for the Fairview, Quezon City- based Tamaraws of coach Pido Jarencio and manager Nino Reyes.
Veteran Erwin Sta. Maria also came up big with 10 points, all in the fourth quarter, to help FEU-NRMF keep Wang’s at bay.
Ex-PBA star Jerwin Gaco, former Lyceum standout Dexter Zamora and import Moustapha Arafat also played well for the Tamaraws, who outscored the Couriers, 27-17, in the payoff period.
The win was a fitting follow-up for FEU-NRMF, which debuted with a smashing 89-57 triumph over Victoria Sports-MLQU last April 8.
PBA D-League veteran Mark Montuano carried the fight for the Pablo Lucas-mentored Wang's with 26 points, including four triples.
Michael Juico added 16 points, John Tayongtong contributed eight and Rey Publico had six in Wang’s losing effort in the tournament supported by Smart Sports, Ironcon Builders, Dickies Underwear, Star Bread and Gerry's Grill.
Wang’s, which won over NCAA member Emilio Aguinaldo College, 82-81, last April 8, dropped to 1-1 win-loss.
Meanwhile, two more teams -- newly-crowned UNTV Season 5 champion Philippine National Police and former NCAA titlist Philippine Christian University-- will make their debut at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow.
The PNP Responders will be handled by Police Community Relations Group (PCRG) head Gen. Gilberto Cruz and Col. Jerome Balbontin and coach Eric Samson, while the PCU Dolphins will be headed by PCU president Dr. Junifen Gauuan, ISPEAC head Dr. Putli Martha Ijiran, coach Elvis Tolentino and consultant Loreto “Ato” Tolentino.
In the 6 p.m. curtainraiser, FEU and EAC clash in a rematch of last year’s winner-take-all title showdown.
FEU-NRMF (80) -- Crellin 15, Gravengard 13, Zamora 11, Sta.Maria 10, Gaco 9, Arafat 6, A. Santos 4, Diwa 4, Asoro 4, C.Santos 2, Doligon 2, Gumabay 0.
Wang’s Ballclub -AsiaTech (67) -- Montuano 26, Juico 16, Tayongtong 8, Publico 6, J. Lucas 4, L.Lucas 4, Enriquez 2, Salcedo 1, Rellores 0, Tallarin 0, Cudal 0.
Quarterscores: 19-13, 38-29, 53-50, 80-67.