ZAMBOANGA DEL SUR — Jumbo Plastic-Basilan made a statement, crushing Visayas champs KCS Mandaue, 94-67, to take Game One of the 2021 Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup best-of-five Southern Finals, Wednesday at the Pagadian City Gymnasium here.
The Computer Specialists made the first basket of the game, but that would be the last time they’ve seen the scoreboard in their favor.
The Peace Riders would then take a 44-31 halftime advantage.
“Noong first half, we couldn’t pull away kasi on some plays disorganized kami sa executions. Sinabihan ko lang sila na just follow the pattern sa executions at mas tigasan pa ang depensa,” said Basilan head coach Jerson Cabiltes.
But Basilan showed their might once more, going on a 16-3 rally, capped by Michael Mabulac’s deuce in the paint, to erect a 26-point lead with 6:15 left in the third period, 60-34.
Jong Baloria’s freebie put the Mindanao kings on top by 35, their biggest of the game, 86-50 with 5:43 to go in the match.
Mindanao Leg Finals MVP Chris Bitoon continued his fine play, producing 19 points, three assists, and two steals.
Baloria followed suit with 13 points, seven rebounds, and three assists, while Michael Mabulac punched in 11 points and six rebounds.
Michael Juico, Philip Manalang, and Bobby Balucanag tallied 10 points apiece.
Steve Castro was the lone bright spot for KCS with 18 points on 7-of-11 shooting from the field, to go with five rebounds and two assists.
New addition Miguel Gastador added 11 points.
Basilan targets a 2-0 lead tomorrow, 6 pm, but Mandaue looks to knot the series.
Basilan 94 – Bitoon 19, Baloria 13, Mabulac 11, Balucanag 10, Manalang 10, Juico 10, Bringas 6, Hallare 6, Gabo 5, Collado 2, Taganas 2, Uyloan 0, Saliddin 0, Tan 0, Siruma 0.
Mandaue 67 – Castro 18, Gastador 11, Soliva 6, Sorela 6, Cachuela 6, Nalos 5, Bregondo 5, Roncal 3, Bautista 3, Delator 2, Imperial 2, Octobre 0, Mercader 0.
Quarterscores: 24-11, 44-31, 75-46, 94-76.