WINNING in just a “fighting five” unit has become a fad in ongoing 2018 Travelers Invitation Basketball Tournament in Cagayan de Oro City.
This, as the undermanned CVL Maguindanao pulled the upset axe against the Ruffians via a 61-54 triumph on Thursday at the Gamma Farm Gym in Barangay Tablon.
Thus, CVL followed in the footsteps of MJM Team of Judge Isagani Ravidas that earlier defeated the Integrated Bar of the Philippines Misamis Oriental Chapter and CVL/COS with only five players in uniform.
“Sila Judge Ravidas among inspiration nga kaya nila lima ra sila kontra IBP ug CVL/COS,” said Reagan Abbu of the Maguindanaoans.
Future airman Ian Ang exploded for 21 points to lead the Maguidanaoans, while Dexter Paje and Abbu contributed 17 and 14 markers, respectively.
The Maguindanaons dictated the whole quarters, enjoying their biggest lead to as much as 12 points.
In the final fourth quarter, the Ruffians unleashed a 7-0 run but fell short with not enough time left on the clock as CVL escaped.
Ang was most admired by the team as he was there all the time when Maguindanao needed to parry every Ruffians uprising.
“Believe ko ni Ian kay grabe nga kayod sa opensiba even that we’re already exhausted,” Abbu said.
Vintage Carlos Alvarez also scored high with 20 points for Ruffians’ losing cause, while Redulla added 14.
From a joint lead with NBI-10 for first place, the Ruffians slid to second spot with a 3-2 win-loss card.
The Maguindanaons improved to 3-3 slate in the ongoing elimination round.
Meanwhile, the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) Defenders are back on their feet as they caught NBI-10 in joint first place after winning by default against the 4ID Diamond Soldiers.