PAGADIAN, ZAMBOANGA DEL SUR — Roxas played inspired basketball, nailing its first win at the expense of the debuting Kapatagan, 89-77, in the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup Mindanao Challenge, Tuesday at the Pagadian City Gymnasium here.
With their lead down to just five, 77-72, the Vanguards unleashed a game-finishing 11-2 burst.
Cyrus Tabi started the run with a shot-clock beating floater before he alongside Marlon Monte and Nick Abanto buried three straight treys, 88-74, with less than a minute to go.
The victory put Roxas at 1-1, dedicating the win for its utility staff Gerry Cojuangco, who passed away early Sunday morning.
“Itong game na ito dine-dedicate namin kay Gerry Cojuangco,” said Roxas head coach Alvin Grey. “May mga lapses kami pero noong fourth quarter, gumana ‘yung trap defense namin.”
Marlon Monte went on a scoring spree, firing 27 points on 7-of-14 shooting from the field and a perfect 9-of-9 from the stripe. He also had five rebounds, five assists, and two steals.
Monte’s backcourt partner Cyrus Tabi also came up big with 19 points, six assists, and five rebounds, while Kentoy Segura was a spark off the bench with 13 points.
The debuting Buffalos was paced by Gayford Rodriguez with 18 points and eight rebounds.
Jonel Bonganciso had 11 points while Richard Kwong and Garexx Puerto combined for 20 points, 18 from the first half.
Kapatagan will dance with Zamboanga Sibugay tomorrow, 4 pm, for a chance to get in the win column.
Meanwhile, Roxas returns on Friday against Iligan at 4 pm.
Roxas 89 – Monte 27, Tabi 19, Segura 13, Gimpayan 8, Dela Cruz 6, Basco 6, Mabigat 4, Abanto 3, Templo 2, Valin 1, Bonleon 0.
Kapatagan 77 – Rodriguez 18, Bonganciso 11, Kwong 10, Puerto 10, Lao 8, Ariar 6, Daanoy 5, Sala 2, Incio 2, Sollano 2, Saga 2, Regero 1.
Quarterscores: 30-19, 48-41, 64-59, 89-77.