By Adrian Stewart Co
Davao Occidental Tigers-Cocolife averted San Juan Knights-Go for Gold’s uprising to score a 66-58 victory in Game 3 of the Chooks-to-Go MPBL Lakan Cup finals on Saturday at the Subic Bay Gymnasium.
Holding to a 56-45 lead heading into the fourth, Davao Occidental saw its lead trimmed down to 53-56. Joseph Terso and Kenneth Mocon, however, converted back-to-back triples as the Tigers widened the lead to 62-53.
Ilonggo Billy Ray Robles led the way for Davao Occidental with 13 points, eight rebounds, four blocks, two assists, and a steal before sitting out the final minutes of the match due to cramps.
Mocon and Bonbon Custodio also finished with double-figures with 11 and 10 markers, respectively, for the 2-1 Tigers, which can wrap up the best-of-five series with a win in Game 4.
“Our defense came through. We gave only 58 points and if we can play defense like this, we have a big chance,” said Davao Occidental head coach Donald Dulay.
Davao Occidental has been blazing since in the opening half as it established a 41-27 halftime edge. San Juan, however, started the second half strong to come to within 42-39.
Custodio steadied the ship for Davao Occidental on a personal 8-1 scoring run to push their lead back to double digits, 50-40 with 1:39 left in the third quarter.
Ayonayon led the Knights anew with 16 points, three rebounds, and three assists but with three turnovers, while John Wilson unloaded 12 markers and nine boards but went a measly 4-of-15 from the field.
DAVAO OCCIDENTAL 66 – Robles 13, Mocon 11, Custodio 10, Yee 7, Gaco 7, Calo 6, Ludovice 6, Terso 3, Saldua 2, Balagtas 1.
SAN JUAN 58 – Ayonayon 16, Wilson 12, Wamar 8, Rodriguez 6, Isit 5, Clarito 5, Reyes 4, Pelayo 2, Aquino 0, Gabawan 0, Tajonera, Marquez, Estrella 0.
Quarterscores: 15-14, 41-27, 52-42, 66-58./ASC, WDJ