Top defender Dionisio rescues Stars with ‘chasedown’
Manila Stars forward Aris Dionisio could have easily let this one go. Not this play, though. Not when the game was on the line.
With Quezon City’s Peejay Barua ready to complete a fast break layup in the dying seconds, Dionisio swatted away the shot, preserving the Stars’ 86-85 victory over the Capitals in their season opener in the MPBL Lakan Season at Ynares Sports Center in Antipolo.
“That’s my favorite play, the chasedown block,” Dionisio, the reigning MPBL Defensive Player of the Year, said in Filipino. “But this one is special, because it helped us win the game.”
Dionisio finished with 21 points, 12 rebounds and 2 blocks for the Stars, who spoiled the debut of former Ateneo star Aaron Black in the league.
Black finished with seven points in 20 minutes of action as the Capitals failed to finish off the Stars even after taking an 85-82 lead on Joco Tayongtong’s triple with 24 seconds remaining.
Later, the Makati Super Crunch crushed the Rizal Golden Coolers, 73-51.
Still smarting from his team’s postseason collapse three months ago, Makati coach Cholo Villanueva drew solid outputs from former Meralco guard Joseph Sedurifa and John Rey Villanueva, who had 15 and 14 points, respectively.
“At the back of our minds, the setback from last season is still there,” said Villanueva, whose team went on a 15-game winning streak before bowing to Quezon City in the first round of the playoffs.
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