PAGADIAN, ZAMBOANGA DEL SUR — Kapatagan finished the 2021 Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup elimination round at eighth seed — just enough to make the cut for the playoffs.
The Buffalo Braves went on a rough road in the single-round robin, after once having a five-game losing streak after winning their first game in the tournament.
But the Lanao del Norte-based squad was sorely missing one of its leaders, Teytey Teodoro.
In the eight games in the elimination round, the 27-year-old spitfire guard only averaged 6.4 points, 1.4 rebounds, and 1.3 assists.
He also shot a poor 35.71 percent from the field, including 33.33 percent from downtown.
So what a relief it was for Kapatagan when Teodoro decided to show up in their most important game of the tourney.
Facing the twice-to-beat Pagadian in the quarterfinals, Teodoro led the Braves to a 96-82 victory. They also forced a rubber match, Thursday at the City Gymnasium here.
The 5-foot-9 bulky scorer fired a tournament-best 14 points off the bench, including three triples. He also picked up three assists and two rebounds.
“Si Teytey, unti-unti niya ng nakukuha ‘yung tyempo sa laro. Nagre-respond naman siya, okay ‘yung ipinapakita niya,” said Kapatagan lead assistant coach Al Vergara.
But more than Teodoro, the whole bench crew of the Braves put on a show.
The second-stringers of Vergara outscored their Explorers counterparts by a whopping 39 points, 76-37.
Leading that charge was Ryan Costelo with 19 points on a 6-of-8 clip to go with five assists, and three rebounds.
Marlon Monte and Jay Ar Ng Sang also chipped in 10 points apiece.
“Sinabihan namin ‘yung bench players na i-maximize nila ‘yung minuto nila para mabigyan sila ng break. Buti maganda naman ‘yung performance nila,” said Vergara.
“Malaking bagay ‘yung bench players namin saka dahil sa kanila, ‘yung first five namin nakakapahinga.”
One example was Kapatagan star Renz Palma, who went scoreless, playing just 11 minutes and 50 seconds in the match.
Expect him to gain high minutes when they face the Explorers tomorrow with a seat in the semifinals at stake.