Gerald Anderson’s Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL)debut for the Marikina Shoemasters will have to wait, as he recuperates from a right hamstring injury he has been nursing for some time now.
“Malungkot at heartbroken nga ako kasi matagal ko itong inabangan,” he said during the post game presser following Marikina’s 88-81 win over General Santos Warriors on MPBL’s opening day at Araneta Coliseum on Tuesday.
“Ginawa ko ang lahat para gumaling agad, pero wala.”
Anderson said he could have forced himself into the game if he were playing in a minor league.
“OK naman, pero may mga galaw na (di pwede). Kung sa liga liga lang OK na. Pero iba dito,” he said.
Anderson’s MPBL debut was among the most awaited highlights on Tuesday night, together with the expected debut of Xian Lim for Mandaluyong and Bong Go’s participation for Muntinlupa.
But it was Yves Sazon’s time to shine that night as he led Marikina with a career-high 33 points to go with 10 rebounds.
Erwin Sta. Maria and Ular Renato each contributed 11 points.
Sazon’s performance was a big improvement since playing for Navotas in the last Rajah Cup.
“ ’Yun ang mentality namin according nga to coach (Elvis Tolentino), dapat may winning attitude,” Sazon said.
“Natuto na rin ako siguro from my mistakes ko last conference.”
General Santos held the lead early, 21-14, but John Orbeta, Delmat Mahaling and Rod Villaruel could do little to stop Sazon.
Tolentino said he’s not surprised by Sazon’s breakout performance.
“Nakita ko naman lumaro ito. He’s capable talaga of doing that,” he said.
Leomar Losentes led GenSan with 18 points.
Meanwhile, the opening of the Datu Cup saw all 26 teams and their muses participate in a ceremonial parade, which was followed by a celebrity 3-point shootout.
Bobby Pacquiao, world champion Manny Pacquiao's brother, won the shooting contest.
He beat out Christopher "Bong" Go, the special assistant to President Rodrigo Duterte, and Lucio “Bong” Tan Jr., owner of reigning MPBL champion Batangas City—Tanduay Athletics.
Go finished second, while Tan took third place.
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