Mindanao Times

Davao Occidental beats Bicol in overtime to reach MPBL division semis

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DAVAO Occidental dug deep and pulled off a gutsy 64-56 overtime victory over Bicol on Wednesday to advance to the South Division semifinals of the 2020 Chooks-to-Go Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) Lakan Cup playoffs at Rizal Memorial Colleges Gym.

Playing hurt, Mark Yee provided the goods for the Tigers in the extra frame as he sparked the late pullaway with a hook shot before commanding the defense that held the Volcanoes scoreless in the extra five minutes.

The 38-year-old Yee contribute­d four points, six rebounds and three steals in a brave stand despite being diagnosed with a partial ACL tear in his right knee prior to the game.

"The doctor said that he can't play, but he told me that he wants to. What can you do? You got to let him fight," said coach Don Dulay.

Bonbon Custodio had 14 points, five rebounds, three assists and a steal, Jerwin Gaco scored all 10 of his points in the payoff period, while also grabbing eight boards, and Billy Robles scored nine points on top of seven rebounds and two assists for Davao Occidental.

Gaco and Robles, however, fouled out just before overtime, putting more pressure on the shoulders of Yee to eke out the win for the top seed.

The Tigers also got a lift from seldom-used Richard Albo, who had eight points and seven rebounds, while Mocon, scored five, including crucial freebies in the clutch to secure the win.

"I always tell people I'm close to how special this team is. They are fighters. Even if guys like Albo, Gaco, and Mocon are not used a lot, they still show up in practice and in the game. That's all a coach can ask for," shared Dulay.

Bicol had its chances in regulation, but Alwin Alday and Ronjay Buenafe missed three of their six free throws that could have locked up the upset.

The Volcanoes, however, had to settle in taking the game to overtime as Hafer Mondragon tied the tiff with a pair of charities in the final 17 seconds before Joseph Terso missed his potential gamewinnin­g three for the Tigers at the buzzer.

Davao Occidental now turns its attention to No. 5 seed Zamboanga in the semis, which begins on Monday.

JR Ongteco led Bicol with 16 points and seven rebounds, as Alday added 15 markers and nine boards.

Buenafe was limited to nine points on an atrocious 2-of-14 shooting from the field, while committing six turnovers, including three in the last 10 minutes of the contest for the No. 8 seed Volcanoes.

The scores: Davao Occidental 64 Custodio 14, Gaco 10, Calo 9, Robles 9, Albo 8, Mocon 5, Terso 4, Yee 4, Balagtas 1, Raymundo 0, Saldua 0.

Bicol 56 - Ongteco 16, Alday 15, Buenafe 9, Mondragon 7, Garcia 3, Aldave 2, Gusi 2, Manalang 2, Guerrero 0, Lalata 0, Olea 0.

Quartersco­res: 11-9; 2624; 42-43; 56-56; 64-56. Spin. ph

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