Davao Occidental, Zamboanga forge MPBL South semis duel

Mark Yee suits up for Davao Occidental despite injury. MPBL PHOTO

DAVAO CITY – Top seed Davao Occidental drew inspiration from a hurting Mark Yee to hack out a 64-56 overtime victory over Bicol and advance to the South Division semifinals of the Chooks-to-Go MPBL Lakan Playoffs.

Yee, who was not supposed to play as he had sustained a partial ACL tear and a torn calf in Game 2, gave the Tigers a lift with four points and six rebounds in the do-or-die encounter Wednesday night at the jampacked RMC Gym here.

“The doctor said that he can’t play but he told me that he wants to. What can you do? You got to let him fight,” said Davao coach Don Dulay, referring to the 38-year-old forward.

Former pro Jerwin Gaco finished with 10 points – all in the fourth quarter as Davao finally put away a Bicol team that found a response each time the Tigers threatened to break away.

The Tigers, however, held the Volcanoes in overtime, propelling them to another best-of-three duel with Zamboanga Family’s Brand Sardines, which bundled out Batangas City Athletics-Tanduay with a 69-52 triumph in their own rubber match.

Bouncing back from scoreless outings in Game 2, Harold Arboleda and Anton Asistio wound up with 15 and 12 points respectively for the fifth seed Zamboanga, which took Game 1, 78-74.

Davao, the reigning South division champion, hosts Zamboanga on Monday when No. 2 seed Bacoor also battles third-ranked Basilan in the other semifinal pairing.

The Scores:

First Game

Zamboanga-Family’s Brand Sardines 69 – Arboleda 15, Asistio 12, Santillan 10, Rono 9, Pasaol 8, Bonsubre 6, Black 5, Reyes 2, Thiele 2, Manzo 0, Sollano 0.

Batangas-Tanduay 52 – Viernes 13, Eguilos 11, Santos 6, Koga 6, Lopez 5, Sara 5, Melano 4, Bragais 2, Teodoro 0, Rogado 0, Grimaldo 0.

Quarterscores: 15-17, 28-29, 43-50, 69-52.

Second Game

Davao Occidental-Cocolife 64 – Custodio 14, Gaco 10, Calo 9, Robles 9, Albo 8, Mocon 5, Terso 4, Yee 4, Balagtas 1, Raymundo 0, Saldua 0.

Bicol-LCC Stores 56 – Ongteco 16, Alday 15, Buenafe 9, Mondragon 7, Garcia 3, Aldave 2, Gusi 2, Manalang 2, Guerrero 0, Lalata 0, Olea 0.

Quarterscores: 11-9, 26-24, 42-43, 56-56, 64-56.

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