LAMITAN CITY — Jay Collado wanted to get the job done in front of the Basileños on Wednesday at the Lamitan City Gym here.
The burly big man pumped in an MPBL best 21 points on a very efficient 8-of-11 shooting clip including four triples, on top of eight rebounds, two steals, a block, and a team-best plus-15.
But South kings Davao Occidental-Cocolife found ways to escape with an 81-76 victory over third seed Basilan-Jumbo Plastic. The result now evens the 2020 Chooks-to-Go MPBL Lakan South Division Finals at one game apiece.
“Usapan namin, itong Game Two, all-out kaming lahat kasi ayaw na namin sanang bumalik sa Davao kasi malaking factor ‘yung home court nila,” said the 6-foot-4 burly big man.
And his on-court exploits were no fluke.
Since Game Three of their semifinals series against Bacoor, Collado has been producing solid numbers for Basilan.
In their decider against the Strikers, the Lyceum product dropped 18 points and 15 rebounds, backstopping Allyn Bulanadi’s 35-point explosion to lead the Steel into the division finals.
Then in their series opener against Davao, Collado made the biggest defensive play of the game — swatting away Billy Ray Robles’ last-second layup to ice the win for his side.
The sweet-shooting big admitted that Bacoor’s threat to file a lawsuit against him was the reason why he’s putting big numbers for the past three matches.
“Motivation ko talaga ‘yung pagtangka nila na kasuhan ako kasi ang daming nasabi sa akin na hindi naman dapat, kaya hanggang ngayon ginagamit ko iyong motivation.”
The do-or-die Game Three will be on Saturday in Davao.
And for Basilan to close the series out, Collado knows what to do.
“Double time pa. Iigihan ko pa kasi hindi sumapat’ yung nagawa ko ngayon eh. Lahat gagawin ko — score, depensa — para makuha namin ‘yung panalo.”
Story by Justin Valencia
Photo by Thel Suliva