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Aguilas open ABL journey with squeaker over Mono

By Ivan Saldajeno

DAVAO--Make that a twin victory for Manny Pacquiao on Thursday night.

Two hours after he witnessed Letran, which he gave full support this NCAA season, win its first championship since 2005, his ABL club, Powervit-Pilipinas, had a triumphant debut in the ABL with a 79-78 victory over fellow newcomer Mono Vampire at the USEP Gym.

The Aguilas, in which the champion boxer-turned-basketball player and coach is an owner, came back from 12 points down and secured the win right at the final minute of play.

Former PBA import AZ Reid tallied 21 points, 12 rebounds, four assists, and one block, while former UE behemoth Charles Mammie added 14 points, 14 rebounds, one block, and two steals in their respective ABL debuts for Powervit-Pilipinas.

Anthony McClain had a game-high 28 markers along with 14 boards, three dimes, and four swats for Mono Vampire, which represents Thailand like defending champion Hi-Tech Bangkok.

Box Scores:

Powervit-Pilipinas 79-Reid 21, Mammie 14, Miller 12, Acuña 10, Salamat 8, Salvacion 7, Salvador 4, Elorde 3, Alonzo 0, Marata 0, Sharma 0

Mono Vampire 78-McClain 28, Kruatiwa 17, Apiromvilaichai 11, Samerjai 10, Klahan 4, Sunthonsiri 3, Muangboon 3, Sekteera 2, Okolie 0, Chaiwat 0, Towaroj 0

Quarterscores: 21-19, 36-36, 53-55, 79-78

Follow the writer on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno