PAGADIAN, ZAMBOANGA DEL SUR—BYB Kapatagan dethroned Mindanao champion Basilan BRT in a thriller, 64-60, in the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup Mindanao Challenge quarterfinals, Saturday at the Pagadian City Gymnasium here.
The Buffalos will battle the winner of the Pagadian-Iligan series in the one-game semifinal on Monday.
Kapatagan got the number of its foes throughout the game until a last-ditch rally by the Peace Riders in the fourth.
The defending champions did not go down without a fight as Jorem Morada and Jayvee Ansaldo connived for 14 straight points to slice the once 19-point gap to just five with 39.7 seconds to go, 57-62.
But it was too little, too late as the Buffalos held on to the lead and ran away with the victory.
“Nag-relax kami down the stretch. Kaya nga nagalit ako sa kanila eh sabi ko hindi pwedeng mag kumpyansa dito sa playoffs,” Kapatagan head coach Jaime Rivera lamented.
The Buffalos started the game 19-14 before a 17-11 second period allowed them to take an 11-point advantage at the break, 36-25.
Kapatagan did not stop there, uncorking another strong frame to open the second half, capped by Jeson Delfinado’s step-back long-two at the buzzer to take a 56-36 spread into the fourth canto.
Gayford Rodriguez topscored for the Buffalos with 15 points, five rebounds, and two assists to earn the Chooks-to-Go Manok ng Bayan Best Player of the Game.
Earning the award as well was Delfinado, who was a surprise spark off the bench with 10 points on a perfect 5-of-5 shooting with two steals.
Morada paced Basilan with 15 points, all from rainbow country alongside five rebounds and a steal.
Nikko Panganiban tallied 10 points and seven rebounds while Julz Julkipli added nine points.
The Peace Riders, who went 13-0 last season en route to the Southern championship, struggled this conference, having once a six-game skid and finishing the preliminaries with a losing record at 5-7.
Kapatagan 64 – Rodriguez 15, Delfinado 10, Sollano 8, Puerto 7, Igot 7, Lao 6, Daanoy 5, Bonganciso 4, Kwong 2, Ariar 0.
Basilan 60 – Morada 15, Panganiban 10, Julkipli 9, Ansaldo 5, Salim 4, Soliva 4, Royo 3, Luciano 3, Albina 3, Butalid 2, Daa 2, Bulac 0, Lunor 0, Solis 0.
Quarterscores: 19-14, 36-25, 56-36, 64-60.