The Ayala Basketball Club opened Thursday night its first league of the year with two matches in the LEADS Agri Cup at the Ayala Northpoint Clubhouse in Talisay City.
Leading the opening rites were ABC President Christian Castro and Titing Cañete, representative of LEADS Agri, the major sponsor of the tournament
Team Leadforce Ultra, in the curtain raiser, blitzed through Leads Cartap, 105-69, behind a sizzling third quarter from ABC newcomer Axo Yao.
Leading with just 8 points at the end of the first half, Team Leadforce Ultra players vaunted speed to outrun their counterparts with Yao leading the way scoring 11 of his team-high 15 points.
Yao got scoring support from Joey Jesena who fired 8 points in the quarter as the lead ballooned to 29 points heading into the final 12 minutes of play.
Cartap never recovered from the third quarter onslaught despite a gallant effort from last conference's MVP Boknoy Locsin and Miguel Mosquera as Leadforce continued to stay hot offensively.
Jesena canned three triples to finish with 13 points while Jomarie Regalado scored 10 to join Yao in double figures.
Luigino Lacson scored 9, Alex Fernandez and Clark Denosta chipped in 8 apiece and Ian Secaluya added 7 markers.
Peter Paul Ortaliz, Reint Tad-y, Robbie Jalandoon, Jajac Somo, Bren Tajonera, Steven Villanueva, and Arvi Pelegrino pooled in 26 more points.
Mosquera paced Cartap with 21 points while Locsin finished with 11.
Junvel Juayong scored 9 as JB Mendoza, John Canobis, Marvin Tan, Brod Hojilla, Dante Ma and Angelo Lizares combined for 28 points.
In the second game, Team Top Ace rallied from 10 points down to top Team Karmex Gold, 99-92, to notch its first win of the tournament.
Luigi Coo drew first blood for Team Karmex Gold, pouring in 18 of his game high 28 points in the first quarter, giving his team a 10-point lead.
Top Ace cagers, however, gathered themselves to slowly chip away the lead using a more deliberate and steady offense.
Japeth Cua exploded for 17 points, all in the third quarter, as Top Ace took a 7-point lead after trailing all the way in the first half. and never looked back to that lead till the end
Christian Maravilla was sensational all night leading Top Ace with 24 points, while Mark Carmona and Arjay Jamero finished with 18 and 13 points, respectively.
Brian Coo scored 9 as Andy Tio, Jason Velasco, Raphael Ciocon and Christian Castro combined for 15 points in the win.
Taboy Corriente and Titing Canete scored 16 and 10 points, respectively, to join Coo in double figures for Karmex Gold. Philip Abong added 9 points.
Adrian Cuaycong, Gerard Benedicto, Ian Abello, Jad Golez, Anton Velez, Reygin Oquiana, Jake De la Paz and Allan Donguines teamed up to contribute 20 points in their losing cause.*
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