PAGADIAN, ZAMBOANGA DEL SUR — Petra Cement-Roxas marched to the Mindanao Leg Finals after trouncing fancied Zamboanga City, 83-72, in the do-or-die Game Three of the 2021 Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup semifinals phase two, Friday night.
The fourth-seeded Vanguards will meet Jumbo Plastic-Basilan, who gained an outright Finals berth after sweeping the eliminations, in the best-of-three Finals, commencing on Sunday, 7 pm, still at the Pagadian City Gymnasium here.
Already leading by seven, Roxas then outscored its foes in the third canto, 23-16. They then built a 14-point advantage heading into the payoff period, 66-52.
“Sinasabi ko lagi sa players ko na ang Zamboanga, mas beterano sa atin ‘yan. Tayo, hindi rin naman tayo ganon kabata, at may beterano rin tayo na dapat mag-step up. Buti hindi naman nagpabaya ang mga beterano namin,” said Vanguards head coach Eddie Laure.
Seven was the closest JPS could get in the fourth, 71-78, on free throws by Fran Yu with 1:58 left.
But the Vanguards held on to book their seat in the Finals.
Things got heated at the 1:32 mark of the third frame. Jerwin Gaco and Leo Najorda figured on a rebound battle with their arms entangled. The two then shoved each other before Jordan Sta. Ana came to Najorda’s defense, pushing Gaco.
Gaco, Najorda, and Sta. Ana all merited technical fouls.
Sta. Ana picked the best game to show his offensive prowess, firing 17 points, five rebounds, four assists, and a steal.
Najorda finished with 16 points, all coming from the second half. Lester Reyes netted 13 points and 12 rebounds.
Meanwhile, MVP candidate James Castro stuffed the stat sheet with 12 points, nine assists, and seven rebounds.
On the other hand, Gabby Espinas paced JPS with 16 points and seven rebounds. Also contributing was Jaypee Belencion with 14 points and five rebounds.
Mac Cardona, who was playing with a hamstring injury, went scoreless in nine minutes of action.
Roxas 83 – Sta. Ana 17, Najorda 16, Reyes 13, Castro 12, Bondoc 9, Casino 5, Jaime 4, Pasia 4, Camacho 3, Velasco 0, Initic 0, Rifaril 0, Elmejrab 0, Templo 0, Deles 0.
Zamboanga City 72 – Espinas 16, Belencion 14, Yu 13, Lingganay 12, Gaco 9, Jeruta 8, Neypes 0, Cardona 0, Ferrer 0, Jumao-as 0.
Quarterscores: 25-19, 43-36, 66-52, 83-72.