Reigning Liga Pilipinas Champions Misamis Oriental Meteors lost a 61-71 decision to host M. Lhuillier Kwarta Padala Niños last night in the Conference 3 Pre-season Championship Game at the Cebu Coliseum.
The host team did not allow the Meteors to gain momentum after the visitors led 6-4 at the 7:06 mark of the first quarter.
With a bigger and more aggressive line-up, M. Lhuillier did not allow the Meteors to creep within the “panic” range, keeping the Misamis Oriental squad at bay by at least two points.
M. Lhuillier chalked up the biggest lead of the game at 48-34 before the Meteors, led by Neil Rañeses, suddenly burst to life to cut down the lead to 51-53 with 1:21 left in the third.
But the Cebuanos did not allow things to get worse as they quickly regained their composure and held MisOr scoreless until the 5:14 mark of the fourth and reinstated an 11-point lead.
Melvin Mamaclay and Patrick Cabahug each nailed a triple on MisOr’s quick 10-2-run for a 64-61 count but spitfire guard Woodrow Enriquez gave M. Lhuillier the breather with a three-point play and two free throws to seal the win.
Enriquez again lead Cebu scorers with 18 points. Bruce Dacia and Stephen Padilla each scored 12 and Ariel Mepaña picked the right time to shine with 11 points for M. Lhuillier Kwarta Padala.