PAGADIAN, ZAMBOANGA DEL SUR — Zamboanga City forced a do-or-die Game Three in the 2021 Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup semifinals second phase, Thursday night.
Fifth-ranked JPS ended the game on a 13-0 blast to escape fourth spot Petra Cement-Roxas, 84-71, to take Game Two at the Pagadian City Gymnasium here.
The win-or-go-home rubber match takes place tomorrow at 5 pm.
The ghost of yesterday’s match, where JPS squandered their 18-point lead and lost in overtime, 84-91, almost haunted Zamboanga City again.
But this time, they held on.
Chito Jaime’s triple at the 2:14 mark of the payoff period capped an 18-4 Roxas run. It climbed all the way back from a 14-point hole and tie things up, 71-71.
However, JPS learned their lesson already, scoring the game’s last 13 points to knot the series at one game apiece.
“I reminded them about last night’s game, and I emphasized na mag focus and play hard defense. That was killing us eh, ‘yung depensa namin,” JPS head coach Tony Pardo when Roxas tied the game late in the fourth quarter.
Things got chippy in the contest with three flagrant fouls penalty 1, and three technical fouls.
One occasion was when Jerwin Gaco fell down on Jordan Sta. Ana’s belly on a rebound play. Emotions flared up as Lester Reyes and Mac Cardona were slapped with technical fouls due to verbal altercation.
Five-foot-ten guard Fran Yu led the charge for Zamboanga with 16 points, eight rebounds, three steals, and two blocks.
Espinas chipped in 16 points of his own to go with seven rebounds and two assists. Meanwhile, Jaypee Belencion had 16 points including three conversions from deep.
Aaron Jeruta and Gaco also netted 11 points apiece for JPS.
The bench mob of Zamboanga made the difference, outscoring their counterparts 46-21.
James Castro delivered 17 points, four assists, three rebounds, and two steals in the losing cause, but he shot just 5-of-14 from the field.
Jhong Bondoc, who played just 14 minutes, tallied 16 points and four rebounds.
After a 19-point performance last night, Leo Najorda was held to just nine points on a 3-of-10 clip. He also had four turnovers.
Zamboanga City 84 – Yu 16, Belencion 16, Espinas 16, Jeruta 11, Gaco 11, Cardona 9, Jumao-as 3, Ferrer 2, Lingganay 0, Neypes 0.
Roxas 71 – Castro 17, Bondoc 16, Najorda 9, Jaime 8, Reyes 6, Sta. Ana 5, Pasia 4, Casino 3, Deles 2, Intic 1, Velasco 0, Elmejrab 0, Templo 0, Camacho 0.
Quarterscores: 25-26, 47-37, 63-52, 84-71.