SUBIC — Sweet payback that was two years in the making.
Mark Yee drained the game-winning triple as Davao Occidental-Cocolife finished off San Juan-Go for Gold in Game Four, 89-88, to win the 2019-21 Chooks-to-Go MPBL Lakan national championship, Sunday at the Subic Bay Gymnasium here.
The Tigers were the Datu Cup runners-up as the Knights claimed the title last season.
“Payback. It’s so much sweeter because we got it back from San Juan. We were so close last time and it was heartbreaking as an organization,” said Coach of the Year Don Dulay.
Tied at 86-all in overtime, Knight Larry Rodriguez followed up a Jhonard Clarito miss to take the 88-86 lead with 1:07 left.
Then Joseph Terso went to the line in the ensuing play, however, he missed both foul line shots.
Rodriguez was called for an offensive foul on the other end at the 27.2 second-mark.
In the next play, with the shotclock running down, Yee got the ball at the left-wing and buried the three points with 13.4 seconds remaining.
Clarito took San Juan’s last shot but he was denied by the Defensive Player of the Year, and the ball went out via the former’s leg.
Then the Knights were not able to foul the Tigers as time ran out.
The Tigers went on a 13-1 run to take a 37-21 lead in the second period to which the Knights retaliated with a 20-3 blitz bridging through the third canto to gain the advantage, 41-40.
Yee, who was hailed as the Finals MVP, finished with 19 points, 12 rebounds, three assists, and three blocks to lead the way for Davao Occidental.
Emman Calo delivered 22 markers as well, while Joseph Terso and Billy Robles dropped 11 apiece.
Davao Occidental floor general Yvan Ludovice left the first quarter with 41.1 seconds left after receiving Jhonard Clarito’s knee to the groin. He was unable to return.
Rodriguez came through for the Knights with 19 points and eight boards while Jhonard Clarito got 18 markers and 11 rebounds.
CJ Isit had a double-double with 14 points and 10 dimes while Season MVP John Wilson only had 13 markers.
Mike Ayonayon only played in the first half, as he was not able to return in the second half due to a left hamstring injury.
Davao Occidental 89 – Calo 22, Yee 19, Terso 11, Robles 11, Mocon 9, Balagtas 8, Gaco 4, Saldua 3, Custodio 2, Albo 0, Ludovice 0.
San Juan 88 – Rodriguez 19, Clarito 18, Isit 14, Wilson 13, Wamar 7, Tajonera 6, Gabawan 4, Ayonayon 3, Aquino 2, Estrella 2, Pelayo 0, Reyes 0.
Quarterscores: 24-18, 40-31, 56-60, 80-80. 89-88.