MANILA, Philippines – Third-seeded Basilan-Jumbo Plastic escaped with a thrilling 74-72 win over top-seeded Davao Occidental-Cocolife, to take Game 1 of the 2020 Chooks-to-Go MPBL Lakan south division finals, Tuesday at the Davao Sports and Tourism Complex in Tagum City.
With Basilan clinging to a one-point lead, 73-72, the Steel and the Tigers had five minutes to rest due to a malfunctioning clock with 15.2 seconds left.
Billy Ray Robles tried to retake the lead for Davao with a blow-by, but Jay Collado swatted away the Ilonggo's attempt.
They left the door open for Davao, however, when Allyn Bulanadi split his charities. On the other end, Kenneth Mocon was able to get a clean yet off-balance look from beyond the arc, but his shot missed as the buzzer sounded.
"That's how the division finals will be. Toe-to-toe, breaks of the game, talagang kailangan lang composed kasi 'yun 'yung magde-decide," said Basilan head coach Jerson Cabiltes.
It was a nip-and-tuck game that saw the two teams in a deadlock to end the first three quarters.
With the game heading to its final seconds, Mocon fired a triple off a scramble for the loose ball to put Davao ahead by one, 72-71.
But Hessed Gabo would not be denied, going coast-to-coast for a floater to hand the lead back to Basilan with 36.3 remaining.
That led to Collado's clutch defensive stand.
Bulanadi spearheaded Basilan's attack with 15 points, nine rebounds, five steals, and three blocks.
Jhaps Bautista fired 12 points built on two triples while Bobby Balucanag provided energy from the bench, finishing with 12 points on a 5-of-6 clip.
Gabo ended with two points while setting up the table for the Steel with 12 assists.
On the other hand, Robles led Davao Occidental with 15 points, 10 rebounds, and five assists.
Mark Yee, who is battling a couple of injuries, had 12 points and four boards. The King Tiger also registered his 1000th point in the MPBL at the 9:12 mark of the second quarter -- a triple.
Basilan will look to finish the series on their home floor on Wednesday.
Basilan-Jumbo Plastic (74) -- Bulanadi 15, Bautista 12, Balucanag 12, Collado 9, Dumapig 7, Dagangon 6, Bringas 4, Palencia 4, Gabo 2, Daa 2, Manalang 1.
Davao-Occidental Cocolife (72) -- Robles 15, Gaco 12, Yee 12, Custodio 7, Forrester 6, Calo 5, Mocon 5, Terso 4, Saldua 3, Balagtas 2, Albo 1, Ludovice 0.
Quarter scores: 16-16, 36-36, 56-56, 74-72.
(For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website).