Tigers hold off Knights, tie series
Hardly a factor for his team two days ago, Billy Ray Robles delivered the biggest plays as Davao Occidental subdued San Juan, 67-60, last Saturday night to even their best of five MPBL Datu Cup finals series at 1-1 at Rizal Memorial Colleges Gym in Davao City.
Robles, the former Rain or Shine guard in the PBA, poured 12 of his 17 points in the second half, including a 25-foot triple with 40 seconds remaining that turned out to be the dagger as the Tigers came up with a strong response from a poor Game 1 showing.
The Ilonggo guard also sparked the third quarter breakaway, scoring seven straight points that extended the lead, 46-33.
Mark Yee and Eman Calo nailed two free throws each in the closing seconds to help cushion the impact of a late Mike Ayonayon trey as Davao team that finally showed its worth as South division champion.
San Juan will host Game 3 on Tuesday at Filoil Flying V Centre with Game 4 set on April 22 in the same venue.
“We needed this win and we knew that we had to work harder than the last game,” said Robles, who was named after PBA import Billy Ray Bates, in Filipino. “We wanted to give our supporters a victory today.”
The Knights, who won Game 1, 84-74, via a whopping 63 percent shooting, trailed by as many as 16 points in the second half, before cutting the lead to 57-54 with 2:36 remaining. Bonbon Custodio split his foul shots and Joseph Terso knocked down a triple as the Tigers regained momentum, 61-54.
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.