The Misamis Oriental Meteors-Pilipinas ripped Hong Kong National Team, 82-68, then massacred Vietnam, 88-56 in a pair of opening matches in the current Second China-ASEAN CBO Basketball Invitational Tournament that began last October 18 and will run until October 24 in Guangxi, China.
Sleek shooting guard Patrick Cabahug scored 26 points to lead the Meteors against Hong Kong with Eder Saldua and Erian Daja contributing 14 and 12 points, respectively. Cabahug also led MisOr in the Vietnam game with 21 points. They play Perak Farcochem-Malaysia today at the Pinggou Arena in Guangxi.
The Meteors, the reigning Liga Pilipinas National Champions, are representing the Philippines in this tournament where The Philippines, represented by the Smart-Gilas Pilipinas National Team under Coach Rajko Toroman, ruled the tournament’s first edition last year. It also marked Gilas’ initial foray into the international scene.
The Meteors of Gov. Oscar S. Moreno and Coach Jun Noel are bracketed in Group B together with Vietnam, Hong Kong and Perak Farmcochem of Malaysia’s National Basketball League. Group A is composed of entries from Myanmar, Laos, Singapore and host Guangxi.
This marks the first time that a team from Liga Pilipinas has been tapped by the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) to represent the country in an international tournament.
“We hope to do the whole nation proud this time just like when we gave joy and pride to the people of Misamis Oriental when we won the Liga crown last April,” said Gov. Moreno. “We thank the SBP and Liga for the chance to play in China while also promoting our province.”
Currently occupying Fourth Place in the overall Smart Liga Pilipinas Conference III standings with 26 points and two weeks left on the schedule, the Meteors are in a good position to advance to as high as Second Place and earn an outright berth in November’s five-team Super Leg that will determine the National Champion.
“This is a good exposure for the team as we shoot for to the Super Leg,” said Coach Noel. “The feat of Smart-Gilas is a tough act to follow but we vow do our best.” The Meteors are sponsored by Hapee Toothpaste, Holcim Cement and Hanjin.
In the opening games last October 18, Guangxi ripped Singapore, 84-51, while Myanmar toppled Laos, 74-55 in a pair of Group A skirmishes.