BATANGAS — Fourth ranked Batangas City-Tanduay claimed vengeance, weathering a late rally from fifth-seeded Zamboanga Family’s Brand Sardines, 84-75, to forge a Game Three in the 2019-20 Chooks-to-Go/MPBL Lakan Season South quarterfinals, Friday at the Batangas State University here.
Down by 18 points entering the fourth frame, the Zamboanga quintet of Alvin Pasaol, Robin Roño, Santi Santillan, and Raffy Reyes took charge and trimmed Batangas’ sizeable lead to just seven points, with 29 seconds remaining.
However, Jeff Viernes fished a foul from Roño and went 2-of-2 from the line to completely put the game out of Zamboanga’s reach.
“Zamboanga is a strong team, babalik at babalik at babalik ‘yan. So suwerte kami na na-sustain namin yung [lead],” said Batangas head coach Woody Co.
Jhaymo Eguilos spearheaded Batangas with a statline of 17 points, 11 rebounds, three assists, and two blocked shots.
Jason Melano provided 14 points and eight rebounds while Moncrief Rogado has 12 points on 4-of-8 shooting from the field.
However, Adrian Santos — who was a non-factor in Game One — made the biggest impact with 11 points, nine rebounds, three assists, and a block off the bench for the Athletics.
Batangas once again missed the services of Gilas pool members Rey Suerte and Jaydee Tungcab.
On the other hand, Santi Santillan tallied 23 points and 11 rebounds for Zamboanga while Roño added 20 points on 7-of-16 shooting in a losing cause.
The win-or-go-home Game Three will be on Wednesday in Davao.
Batangas City-Athletics (84) –– Eguilos 17, Melano 14, Rogado 12, Santos 11, Viernes 8, Koga 5, Teodoro 5, Bragais 4, Lopez 3, Sara 3, Grimaldo 2.
Zamboanga-Family’s Brand Sardines (75) — Santillan 23, Rono 20, Pasaol 14, Manzo 7, Bonsubre 4, Reyes 2, Thiele 2, Villamor 2, Black 1, Arboleda 0, Asistio 0, De Vera 0.
Quarterscores: 18-23, 39-33, 62-44, 84-75.
Story by Jonash Dannug
Photos by Thel Suliva