PAGADIAN, ZAMBOANGA DEL SUR — Eighth seed Kapatagan lived to fight another day in the 2021 Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup quarterfinals.
Faced with a twice-to-win disadvantage, the Buffalo Braves stunned third-ranked Pagadian in its home soil, 96-82, at the City Gymnasium here, Thursday.
The make-or-break rubber match will be tomorrow, 6 pm. Waiting for the winner is fourth seed Petra Cement-Roxas.
“Gusto naming bawian ‘yung Pagadian kasi noong last game namin tinambakan nila kami. Ipinakita lang ng mga players namin ‘yung pride nila,” said Kapatagan lead assistant coach Al Vergara as his side fell to Pagadian, 95-67, last July 18.
Leading by just five, Kapatagan opened the payoff period with a huge 15-6 surge, capped by Shaq Alanes’ triple, to extend their lead to 14, 87-73, with 5:21 left.
The margin would never dwindle down to single-digit as the two squads just exchanged baskets throughout the remainder of the game.
The bench mob of the Braves made the difference in the match, outscoring their counterparts, 76-37.
Leading the second-stringers was Ryan Costelo with 19 points on a 6-of-8 shooting clip, to go with his five assists. Teytey Teodoro, who has been a non-factor during the eliminations, dropped 14 points, including three triples.
Also pouring it in from the bench were Jay-Ar Ng Sang and Marlon Monte with 10 points apiece. Achie Iñigo was the lone starter in double figures with 11 points and five assists.
Kapatagan played without big men Christian Fajarito (sprained ankle) and Jamil Gabawan (groin), both nursing injuries.
Von Dechos led Pagadian with 16 points and four assists. Rich Guinitaran had 15 points but went 4-of-14 from the field.
Keanu Caballero scattered 13 points, seven rebounds, three steals, and three assists against four turnovers.
Collectively, the Explorers shot poorly from the field, going 26-of-81, good for just 32.1 percent. On the contrary, Kapatagan was a hot 35-of-69.
Kapatagan 96 – Costelo 19, Teodoro 14, Inigo 11, Ng Sang 10, Alanes 10, Monte 10, Doroteo 9, Mandreza 4, Acain 4, Sollano 3, Siarot 2, Astrero 0, Incio 0, Tabaquero 0, Palma 0.
Pagadian 82 – Dechos 16, Guinitaran 15, Caballero 13, Serrano 9, Demigaya 6, Quilo 5, Benitez 5, Quimado 4, Villaver 3, Manalo 3, Pamaran 3, Saludsod 0, Helido 0, Bautista 0, Diva 0.
Quarterscores: 33-22, 52-44, 72-67, 96-82.