PAGADIAN, ZAMBOANGA DEL SUR — Third-seeded hometown heroes Pagadian exacted vengeance from its blowout loss yesterday, advancing to the 2021 Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup semifinals, Friday night.
The Explorers, already disarmed of their twice-to-beat edge, scraped past eighth place Kapatagan, 87-76, in the quarterfinals rubber match at the Pagadian City Gymnasium here.
Pagadian will clash with fourth-ranked Petra Cement-Roxas in the best-of-three semis first phase. Game One is on Sunday, Aug. 1, at 4 pm.
“Nag-step up talaga ‘yung mga players after noong talo namin yesterday. After last night, sobrang down nila pero sabi ko we’re still blessed kasi we still have one game para bumawi,” said Pagadian head coach Harold Sta. Cruz.
Knotted at 72 midway through the payoff period, Rich Guinitaran kick-started a game-deciding run for Pagadian.
Guinitaran scored a layup and was fouled by Ryan Costelo, who at the time was leading the Braves. To make it more destructing, the foul was reviewed as a flagrant foul penalty 1 and forced Costelo to sit for two minutes.
Jeric Serrano’s fastbreak layup at the two-minute mark capped 12 unanswered points for the Explorers. It also sealed the semis spot, 84-72.
In the ensuing play, things turned heated when Shaq Alanes hit Serrano hard on a layup attempt. The former was slapped with a flagrant foul penalty 2, causing him to be ejected with 1:40 to go.
Guinitaran bounced back from a poor showing yesterday, making 22 points, 11 rebounds, five assists, two steals, and two blocks for the victors.
Von Dechos sank four triples on his way to 16 points, while Keanu Caballero just missed a double-double with 11 points, nine assists, and five rebounds.
“They (Pagadian players) played their hearts out. ‘Yung mga little details ginawa nila, ;yung pag-dive sa bola. Lahat sila nag step up, nakita ko talaga ‘yung teamwork,” said Sta. Cruz.
Costelo finished with 18 points, eight rebounds, seven assists in the losing cause. Teytey Teodoro topscored with 19 points.
Renz Palma, Kapatagan’s top gun, was held to just two points in the second half, ending with 10 points.
Marlon Monte, the Braves’ leading scorer in the tournament, missed all of his four attempts from the field. He tallied just four points, all from the charity stripe.
Pagadian 87 – Guinitaran 22, Dechos 16, Caballero 11, Serrano 9, Manalo 8, Acaylar 8, Demigaya 4, Benitez 4, Pamaran 2, Diva 2, Quilo 1, Saludsod 0, Quimaldo 0, Bautista 0.
Kapatagan 76 – Teodoro 19, Costelo 18, Palma 10, Ng Sang 6, Inigo 5, Doroteo 4, Monte 4, Siarot 3, Acain 3, Alanes 2, Mandreza 2, Sollano 0.
Quarterscores: 22-17, 44-37, 61-64, 87-76.