Davao Occidental-Cocolife is moving on to the 2022-23 Manila Bankers Life-Pilipinas Super League Pro Division Second Conference Dumper Cup Finals after defeating Pampanga Royce Hotel in the deciding Game 3 of their semifinals showdown.
The thrilling match took place last Friday night at the Filoil EcoOil Centre in San Juan, with Davao Occidental-Cocolife securing an 88-80 victory.
The Tigers delivered an exceptional performance, thanks to the impressive play of former PBA players John Wilson and Renzo Subido.
Wilson fired 22 points and pulled down 10 rebounds while Subido contributed significantly with 17 points and two assists.
After their 82-77 win in the second game of the series last Wednesday, Davao Occidental-Cocolife managed to secure a place in the best-of-three finals with the Pampanga G Lanterns. Game 1 of the highly anticipated finals is set to take place on Monday at Bren Z. Guiao in the event presented by Dumper party-list, Winzir, and Skin Care Depot, co-presented by SCD Cosmetics, and supported by various companies, including NET 25, Adcon, Wcube Solutions Inc., MDC, Unisol, Don Benitos, and Finn Cotton. The PBA and Gilas Pilipinas great Marc Pingris serves as commissioner.
The Tigers took an early lead, leading 38-34 at halftime, and further extended the difference to 65-53, thwarting Pampanga Royce’s repeated comeback bids in the final stanza. Pampanga Royce’s Allen Liwag managed to bring the score to 74-80 with two free throws in the last 1:01.
Subido then hit a crucial three-pointer from the left corner that pegged an 83-74 count with only 42.1 ticks left, taking the fight out of Pampanga Royce.
Gab Dagangon and Marco Balagtas combined for 17 for the Don Dulay-mentored Davao Occidental crew.
After the game, Subido shared, “He (Dulay) just told us to keep our composure and make sure we finish the game strong and make sure walang injuries.” Wilson also added, “Ang nasa isip ko lang pagdating sa finals ay we have to play as team and sa part ko I have to be consistent every game.”
Jolo Mendoza led the way for Pampanga Royce with 24 points, while JB Bahio and Liwag got 14 and 12, respectively.
Despite the loss, Pampanga Royce Hotel put up a strong fight and gave Davao Occidental-Cocolife a run for their money.
With the finals quickly approaching, fans can expect an exciting and closely contested series between the two teams.
Davao Occidental-Cocolife 88 – Wilson 22, Subido 17, Dagangon 9, Balagtas 8, Abundo 7, Rodriguez 6, Agovida 6, Celiz 6, Calo 5, Jimenez 2, Robles 0.
Pampanga Royce Hotel 80 – Mendoza 24, Bahio 14, Liwag 12, Gozum 7, Navarro 6, J. Flores 5, Cullar 4, C. Flores 4, Palencia 2, Villapando 2, Yambing 0, Verano 0, Sangco 0, Huang 0.
Quarters: 21-21, 38-34, 65-53, 88-80.