Batangas stays in title hunt after stopping Zambo in MPBL playoffs
ABS-CBN Sports on Apr 03, 2019 05:57 PM
Batangas ultimately got the better of higher-seeded Zamboanga
With its season hanging in the balance, Batangas City poured in everything it had in surviving Zamboanga, 80-72, in their do-or-die semifinals duel to move into the championship round of the MPBL Datu Cup southern division at the Batangas Sports Arena last Tuesday.
The Athletics banked on last season’s MVP Val Acuna, who knocked in nine of his 17 points in the third period, to keep his team afloat before Jeff Viernes and Jhaymo Eguilos combined forces in the final quarter.
A spitfire guard who was picked up by the Athletics a few games late in the season, Viernes went an assist shy from ending up in a double-double performance with 15 points and nine rebounds.
Eguilos, last season’s top performer during the Athletics’ championship run against the Muntinlupa Cagers, added 13 while Adrian Santos fell a rebound away from tallying in double figures as he had 10 points to go along with nine rebounds.
The timely contributions of these four players allowed Batangas City to set up a best-of-three finals showdown with the Davao Occidental Tigers in the southern division of this tournament.
“Ang sabi ko sa mga players ko, sundin lang natin yung Sistema and if ever man matalo tayo, matatalo tayo sa mga kamay ko,” added Batangas City coach Mac Tan, who is looking to give the Athletics their second straight championship.