Davao Occidental in finals; Batangas scores
BATANGAS City—Flashing depth and firepower, Davao Occidental continued its remarkable run by completing a two-game sweep of Bacoor last Saturday night to clinch the first finals berth in the South division of the MPBL Datu Cup at Batangas City Coliseum.
Joseph Terso and Eman Calo poured 14 points each as the Tigers used a blistering second half attack to crush the Strikers, 87-67, in Game 2.
Seven players actually scored at least eight points for the Tigers in a testament to the quality of coach Don Dulay’s squad.
Mark Yee, a former PBA journeman, sparkled on both ends with 12 points, 11 rebounds, five assists and five blocks for Davao which outscored Bacoor, 47-27, in the second half.
Terso came off the bench to provide some timely baskets, including a couple of three-pointers from the corner late in the third that allowed the Tigers to finally pull away and take the fight out of the enemy somewhat.
“Coach (Dulay) just emphasized the importance of executing on defense,” said Terso, a former National U standout. “Bacoor gave us a tough series. It was not easy as it looked. They were very competitive.”
Later, Batangas City kept its title-retention bid alive with a 67-57 triumph over Zamboanga that leveled their series at 1-1.
The rubber match is set on Tuesday at Batangas City Coliseum with the winner flying to Davao for a duel with the Tigers two nights later at the start of the South finals.
The Athletics rode Jeff Viernes’ heroics as the pint-sized guard finished with 16 points, seven rebounds and eight assists, Jhaymo Eguilos had 10 points and 10 boards.
Not even a buzzer-beating halfcourt shot from Zamboanga guard Robin Roño could stop the Athletics from seizing control starting the third period.
A three-pointer from Viernes capped a 12-0 run bridging the third and fourth quarters, pushing the lead to as large as 15 points for the Athletics, who also got solid games from Mon Rogado, Lester Alvarez and Jayson Grimaldo.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.