BACOOR CITY — Despite missing Allyn Bulanadi, third seed Basilan-Jumbo Plastic still moved on the cusp of advancing to the 2020 Chooks-to-Go MPBL Lakan South semis after an emphatic 83-68 win over sixth seed Iloilo, Wednesday at the Strike Gym here.
Jhapz Bautista stepped up for the Steel with 21 points on a very healthy 8-of-10 shooting from the field, including three treys.
Playing trailer for the first three quarters, Iloilo eventually ran out of gas in the payoff period.
Already up by eight, 61-53, Bautista spearheaded a 14-2 telling blast to put the game away with 4:40 left, 75-55.
Bautista poured in 10 points on that run via an and-one, two layups, and a triple. Bobby Balucanag and Gab Dagangon also contributed two points apiece in the run.
“Actually, maganda ‘yung first quarter namin, naka-una kami ng twelve-zero. So I just told the team to play forty minutes kasi sure na babalik si Iloilo. We just need to weather the storm,” said Steel coach Jerson Cabiltes.
Hesed Gabo chipped in 10 markers, five rebounds, and five assists. Meanwhile, veteran Dennis Daa added 10 points on an efficient 5-of-6 clip from the field.
Bulanadi did not play in the contest since he was attending to Gilas duties.
On the other hand, Jasper Parker led the United Royals with 11 points. Ryan Arambulo had 10 off the bench.
Iloilo missed the services of Al Tamsi, its second-leading scorer, due to a left hamstring injury.
The Steel will try to end the series on Monday, February 24, at their home turf, the Basilan City Gymnasium.
Basilan-Jumbo Plastic 83 – Bautista 21, Gabo 10, Daa 10, Dagangon 9, Balucanag 8, Collado 7, Uyloan 6, Dumapig 4, Palencia 4, Manalang 2, Hallare 2, Trinidad 0, Bringas 0.
Iloilo 68 – Parker 11, Arambulo 10, Escoto 8, Sierra 7, Prado 6, Publico 5, Gumaru 5, Jeruta 5, Golla 3, Javelosa 3, Jaboneta 3, Mahari 2, Pedrosa 0, Li 0, Rodriguez 0.
Quarterscores: 22-10, 42-36, 61-53, 83-68.
Story by Justin Valencia
Photos by Nicks Hernandez