TAGUM CITY — Jay Collado made sure that third-ranked Basilan-Jumbo Plastic escaped top seed Davao Occidental-Cocolife, sealing a 74-72 win to take Game One of the 2020 Chooks-to-Go MPBL Lakan South Finals, Tuesday at the Davao Sports and Tourism Complex here.
Clinging to just a one-point lead, 73-72, the Steel and the Tigers had at least five minutes to rest due to a malfunctioning clock with 15.2 seconds left.
Billy Ray Robles tried to retake the lead with a blow-by. However, Collado was lurking in the shadows, swatting away the Ilonggo’s attempt.
Allyn Bulanadi split his charities afterward to give Davao Occidental one last shot.
Kenneth Mocon was able to get a clean yet off-balance look from downtown on the other end, but his shot missed as the buzzer sounded.
“That’s how the division finals will be. Toe-to-toe, breaks of the game. Talagang kailangan lang composed kasi ‘yun ‘yung magde-decide e,” said Basilan head coach Jerson Cabiltes.
It was a nip-and-tuck game that saw the two teams in a deadlock to end the first three quarters.
With the game heading to its final seconds, Kenneth Mocon fired a triple off a scramble for the loose ball to put Davao ahead by one, 72-71. But Hessed Gabo would not be denied, going coast-to-coast for a floater to return the lead to Basilan with 36.3 remaining.
This then led to Collado’s timely defensive stand. The burly big man had nine points on 3-of-4 shooting to go along with two swats.
Bulanadi spearheaded Basilan’s attack with 15 points, nine rebounds, five steals, and three blocks.
Jhaps Bautista fired 12 points built on two triples. Meanwhile, Bobby Balucanag provided energy from the bench, finishing with 12 points on a 5-of-6 clip.
Gabo ended with two points, while setting up the table for the Steel with 12 assists.
On the other hand, Robles led Davao Occidental with 15 points, 10 rebounds, and five assists.
Mark Yee, who is battling a couple of injuries, had 12 points and four boards. The King Tiger also registered his 1000th point in the MPBL at the 9:12 mark of the second quarter — with a triple.
Basilan will look to finish the series on their home floor on Wednesday.
Basilan-Jumbo Plastic (74) — Bulanadi 15, Bautista 12, Balucanag 12, Collado 9, Dumapig 7, Dagangon 6, Bringas 4, Palencia 4, Gabo 2, Daa 2, Manalang 1.
Davao-Occidental Cocolife (72) — Robles 15, Gaco 12, Yee 12, Custodio 7, Forrester 6, Calo 5, Mocon 5, Terso 4, Saldua 3, Balagtas 2, Albo 1, Ludovice 0.
Quarterscores: 16-16, 36-36, 56-56, 74-72
Story by Jonash Dannug
Photos by Nicks Hernandez