TRUCK N Trail emerged as champions of the inaugural Mandaue’s Pride Basketball Association (MPBA) Summer Cup after defeating the ARQ Builders 87-76 in the championship match on Saturday, June 3, 2023, at the Mandaue City Sports Complex
Led by Ajing Rosano, Jeric Gonzaga, Albert Ardiente and Zaoinyl Rosano, Truck N Trail dominated the game from beginning to end, claiming the championship title in front of a sizable crowd at the air-conditioned venue.
Ajing canned in 16 points, Gonzaga chipped in 15, Ardiente chimed in 11 and Zaoinyl handed 10.
Truck N Trail, the northern conference champion, led by as many as 10 points in the early goings but the southern conference champion ARQ fought back and trimmed the deficit to just three at the half, 39-42.
Truck N Trail showcased their outside shooting skills in the third quarter, sinking multiple three-pointers and capitalizing on fastbreak opportunities, resulting in a double-digit lead of 67-57.
ARQ prevented things from going out of hand, launching a mini run to move within 72-78 with 4:07 left. Ardiente played the fireman’s role for Truck N Trail as he went on a personal offensive tear that allowed the champion squad to pull away.
Ardiente first hit two free throws, then scored on a putback before making a nifty layup while being fouled.
That series of gutsy plays by Ardiente was part of a 7-2 run that allowed Truck N Trail to surge to a safe 85-74 lead with only 1:42 left.
Ervin John Minoza paced ARQ with 17 points, while John Elmer Villabrille added 12.
Meanwhile, in an exhibition game before the championship match, the MPBA Selection pulled off a blowout 115-62 win over Winzir. (RSC)
INAUGURAL CHAMPS. Truck N Trail celebrates after winning the MPBA Summer Cup crown. / Contributed
June 04, 2023
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