MISAMIS ORIENTAL forged an early 20-0 run on the way to a 94-70 stomping of Ascof Lagundi at the start of the eighth leg of the Tournament of the Philippines Monday night at the Xavier University gym in Cagayan de Oro City.
Neil Rañeses buried 16 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to pace the Meteors, who are seeking for a second crown since ruling the fourth leg.
Two-time champion M. Lhuillier Kwarta Padala Cebu also kicked off its own bid by tripping Hobe Bihon-Taguig City, 82-77, in the first game.
Warren Ybañez knocked in seven of his nine points in the fourth period to keep the Niños in control heading into the final stretch.
Stephen Padilla topscored with 15 points and Marlon Basco added 13 for the Niños.
The Meteors coasted to a 52-31 halftime lead before extending it to as many as 35 points, 74-39, in the third quarter.
“This is our homecourt and we didn’t want to let the crowd down,” said Meteors coach Jun Noel. “All the players are really inspired to play.”