The San Sebastian Stags opened their NCAA Season 95 campaign with a dominant 82-51 victory over the JRU Heavy Bombers Tuesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
RK Ilagan starred in the blowout win as he knocked down five 3-pointers on the way to 25 points, to go with five assists, three rebounds, and two steals.
Alvin Capobres also performed well as he tallied 16 points and six rebounds. Allyn Bulanadi, who was not expected to play due to a shoulder injury, quickly churned out seven points in just two minutes of action.
Heading into the season, San Sebastian was tagged as one of the favorites to make the Final Four. Coach Egay Macaraya hopes to use the high expectations to motivate his players.
"We're very flattered that we're always included in the Final Four (prediction), which is good for us," said Macaraya. "The players were challenged so they showed a good game tonight especially on defense."
Macaraya was pleased with the balanced effort that his team showed as they maintained their aggressiveness from start to finish.
"Everybody contributed in their roles, and hopefully, they could bring that in our next games," he said.
New JRU coach Louie Gonzalez received a rude welcome in his return to the NCAA. No Heavy Bomber finished in double-digits with Marq Dionisio and Stefan Steinl emerging as the top scorers with eight points each.
JRU will face another tough battle against the defending champion San Beda on Friday, while San Sebastian will take on the CSB Blazers next Tuesday.
SAN SEBASTIAN 82 - Ilagan 25, Capobres 16, Bulanadi 7, Villapando 6, Desoyo 6, Altamirano 6, Calma 5, Calahat 4, Tero 3, Are 2, Loristo 2, Sumoda 0, Dela Cruz 0.
JRU 51 - Dionisio 8, Steinl 8, Jungco 7, Dela Virgen 6, Aguilar 4, Delos Santos 4, Dela Rosa 3, Bordon 3, Miranda 2, Amores 2, Vasquez 2, Abaoag 2, Arenal 0, Dulalia 0.
QUARTER SCORES: 14-8, 35-22, 61-40, 82-51.