Pasay routs SOCCSKARGEN, Davao hurdles stubborn Cebu
Bob Guerrero on Aug 30, 2019 11:00 AM
"Kailangang ilabas ang energy namin sa second half at higitan ang energy ng SOCCSKSARGEN." - Axel Iñigo (File by Josh Albelda)
The Pasay Voyagers and Davao Occidental Tigers - Cocolife were winners in contrasting fashion on Thursday night's doubleheader at the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Lakan Season.
Pasay delighted their fans at the Cuneta Astrodome with a fourth straight win at the expense of the SOCCSKSARGEN Marlins - Armor On, 70 -54, in the featured match-up.
The Voyagers held a 37-32 lead at the half but opened the floodgates with a 23-point third quarter. A Jake Diwa fadeaway midway through the third quarter pulled the Mindanao team to within 2, 43-41. That awakened Pasay and the Voyagers charged ahead with a 9-2 run featuring a Jaypee Belencion triple. The ex-pro would hit another triple later on in the period as Pasay took a 60-47 lead going into the last segment of the game. Belencion wound up with 13 markers.
A low-scoring fourth period was enought to see Pasay win, with Axel Inigo scoring a trey and finishing with 19 big points to lead his team.
"Kailangang ilabas ang energy namin sa second half at higitan ang energy ng SOCCSKSARGEN," said the guard as a way of explaining the team's mindset going into the second half.
Diwa was the lone Marlin in double figures with 16, as his team continues its abysmal start to the season with an 11th loss in as many games. Pasay moves up in the standings in the North with a 7-5 card.
In the first game Davao Occidental survived a mighty scare against mid-table Cebu Sharks - Casino Ethyl Alcohol to win 65-61.
Joseph Terso is the hero in an eighth straight win for Davao, and the South Division powerhouse stays level with league-leading San Juan at 10-1.
However, the Sharks made it tough on the Tigers, with an effective defensive game plan that limited DavOcc to a measly 28 percent clip from the field.
The Tigers led 34-30 at the half and the margin remained the same heading into the last quarter. Cebu then found a gear halfway through the quarter with a 7-0 run courtesy of a Rhaffy Octubre triple and a couple of baskets from Kraniel Viloria. That gave Cebu a 61-57 lead with a little over two minutes to go.
The Davaoenos must have thought their seven-game win streak was on the verge of ending, but Terso came to the rescue. The former NU Bulldog rifled in consecutive corner threes from either side to put Cocolife back in front by two in the blink of an eye. A rattled Cebu team was unable to respond, and in the end a pair of Terso charities completed the scoring.
Terso led all scorers with 16 points while Octubre's baker's dozen was tops for Cebu, who slump to 4-7 despite welcoming back Will McAloney from injury. The big man tallied 12 points.
The MPBL takes a one-day break before returning on Saturday with a doubleheader in Bicol.