BATANGAS — Eight seed Bicol-LCC Stores lived to fight another day, taking down top-ranked Davao Occidental-Cocolife, 84-81, to force a Game Three in the 2019-20 Chooks-to-Go/MPBL Lakan Season South quarterfinals, Friday at the Batangas State University Gymnasium here.
With the scores shackled at 69-all in the final quarter, Alywn Alday fired five-straight points to spark a crucial 8-0 blast. That gave Bicol an eight-point cushion, 77-69, with 4:28 still on the clock.
But Bonbon Custodio, Emman Calo, and Marco Balagtas came to Davao Occidental’s defense quickly, countering with a 7-0 rally to trim Bicol’s lead to just one point.
Behind Alday, Jerome Garcia, and Hafer Mondragon, Bicol managed to build five-point advantage, 82-78, with 1:17 ticks left.
In a last-ditch to save the Tigers, Joseph Terso earned a split from the line while Kenneth Mocon forced a steal on Ronjay Buenafe with 17.4 left. That led to a breakaway lay-in from Chester Saldua to cut the lead to two, 81-83.
However, Alday went 1-of-2 from the line on the other end. Calo then badly missed a three, which spelled doom for Davao Occidental.
“Napakahirap talunin ng powerhouse team. Pero still, kailangan naming mag-trabaho, kailangan naming trabahuhin kasi gusto naming manalo. Sabi ko kailangan naming trabahuhin hanggang dulo,” said Bicol head coach Monel Kallos.
Alday pumped in 18 points on 6-of-17 shooting laced with five rebounds, four assists, and two steals for Bicol.
Garcia also had 18 markers built on five three-pointers along with five boards and three assists. Buenafe tallied 14 points, eight assists, and four rebounds.
Hafer Mondragon, meanwhile, chipped in a double-double of 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Calo paced the Cocolife-backed squad with 15 points, 10 rebounds, three assists, two steals, and a block.
On the other hand, Billy Robles had 13 points and six boards, while Saldua added 12 points and five rebounds.
Davao Occidental lost star forward Mark Yee in the 3:05-mark of the second quarter after landing on his right foot badly off a rebound.
Game Three will take place on Wednesday in Davao.
Bicol-LCC Stores (84) — Alday 18, Garcia 18, R. Buenafe 14, Mondragon 10, Aldave 8, Lalata 8, Ongteco 2, P. Buenafe 2, Alfonso 0, Manalang 0.
Davao Occidental-Cocolife (81) — Calo 15, Robles 13, Saldua 12, Mocon 11, Custodio 11, Balagtas 8, Ludovice 5, Gaco 5, Terso 1, Forrester 0, Yee 0
Quarterscores: 16-21, 34-41, 54-63, 84-81
Story by Jonash Dannug
Photos By Thel Suliva
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