IPIL, ZAMBOANGA SIBUGAY — Rich Guinitaran drained the big buckets as Pagadian dropped the upset axe on powerhouse JPS Zamboanga City, 82-68, in the 2021 Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup, Tuesday at the Provincial Gymnasium here.
After going down by as much as 13 in the game, Zamboanga was able to cut the deficit to just three. Jaypee Belencion made a triple at the 3:54 mark of the fourth quarter.
But Guinitaran had all the answers in him.
The CEU product, who transferred to Arellano late last year, went on a personal 8-0 run. He capps the streak with a putback off a Mark Benitez’s miss, to restore Pagadian’s lead to 11 with just 1:51 left.
“What do you expect? Si Rich, isa sa mga main man ko ‘yan. Rich is a very versatile player and anytime pwede pumutok sa labas ‘yan,” said Explorers head coach Harold Sta. Cruz.
Guinitaran was ultra-efficient with 26 points on a hot 8-of-10 shooting clip, including 5-of-6 from behind the arc. He also had five rebounds and five assists as the Explorers rose to 2-0.
Keanu Caballero flirted with a triple-double with 10 markers, seven boards, and seven dimes.
Big men Gabby Espinas and Jerwin Gaco paced the 1-1 JPS with 14 and 11 points, respectively. The latter also added 11 rebounds.
Playmaker Fran Yu did not play for Zamboanga due to a stiff neck. Meanwhile, Gino Jumao-as appeared to hurt his right knee after a collision down low at the 1:57 mark of the first quarter. He did not return.
Pagadian aims for a 3-0 start when it squares off against another powerhouse in Basilan on Thursday at 4 pm. Meanwhile, JPS looks to return in the win column on Saturday, 2 pm against MisOr.
Pagadian 82 – Guinitaran 26, Caballero 10, Benitez 8, Dechos 8, Serrano 7, Saludsod 5, Pamaran 5, Demigaya 4, Acaylar 4, Singedas 2, Villaver 2, Manalo 1, Bolotaolo 0, Quimado 0, Bautista 0.
Zamboanga City 68 – Espinas 14, Gaco 11, Belencion 9, Cardona 8, Lingganay 7, Salim 5, Matias 5, Jeruta 3, Neypes 2, Waminal 0, Ferrer 0.
Quarterscores: 20-16, 43-37, 61-54, 82-68.