The Bicol Volcanoes and Batangas City-Tanduay Athletics vanquished their respective foes to force do-or-die matches in their separate Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League quarterfinal series Friday night at the Batangas City Coliseum.
Bicol eked out an 84-81 win over the Davao Occidental Tigers, while Batangas escaped with an 84-75 over Zamboanga Family's Brand Sardines.
Jerome Garcia and Alwyn Alday keyed the Volcanoes' victory by scoring 18 markers each to level their best-of-3 series with the Tigers, 1-1.
Davao Occidental led by as much as 16 points, but Bicol mounted a furious run to wipe out the deficit and seize the lead midway in the final period, 72-69.
After the Vocanoes jacked the advantage to 8 points, the Tigers managed to pull to within 77-76 with a rally capped by Marco Balagtas' triple.
But Bicol managed to hold on and escape with their first victory in the series.
Emman Calo topscored for the Tigers with 15 points. Davao's top player Mark Yee was scoreless in nearly 10 minutes of play.
In the main game, the Athletics made sure they would get the win at home by holding off Zamboanga and tying their best-of-3 series, 1-1.
The Athletics piled a 21-point advantage, but Zamboanga managed to cut the deficit to just 7 points with 29 seconds to go.
That’s the closest they could get as Jeff Viernes put the finishing touches from the free throw line for Batangas.
Jason Melano paced the Athletics with 14 points, 8 rebounds and 3 assists.
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