MANILA – Basilan Steel survived a late run by the newcomer Bicol Volcanoes to score a 94-83 win at the start of the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) Lakan Cup on Wednesday night at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
Jessie Collado finished with double-double 16 points and 10 rebounds, Gabriel Dagangon added 15 markers, while Cris Dumapig had 13 markers and 10 boards for the Steel.
From a tightly-contested match, the Steel went on a strong 12-2 scoring run midway in the fourth quarter behind Collado and Jhapz Bautista to take an 87-75 advantage with over two minutes left.
The Volcanoes made its last push and was able to come to as close as 81-87 after a basket by Alex Nuyles but Bautista scored on a baseline drive and Collado drained a triple to seal the win for the Steel.
“Not to say na disappointed because a win’s a win, pero kailangan ma-sustain namin ‘yung effort namin from first to fourth quarter. We’re gonna get better from this,” said Steel head coach Jerson Cabiltes.
Nuyles had 23 points, five rebounds, three steals, and two assists, while Alwin Alday scored 10 of his 21 points in the payoff period for the Volcanoes.
In the second game, Chester Saldua scored on a go-ahead basket as Datu Cup runner-up Davao Occidental Tigers escaped with an 84-82 victory over the Zamboanga Valientes.
With the score tied at 82-all, Saldua was at the right place at the right time as he scored on a putback from a miss by Negrense Mark Yee. Ilonggo Billy Robles completed Tigers’ slim win with a block on the final possession.
Saldua finished the match with 15 points, while Robles and Marco Balagtas had 14 and 12 markers, respectively, for the Tigers. Harold Arboleda top-scored with 24 points for the Valientes./PN