PAGADIAN, Zambonga del sur – The new-look Basilan BRT Sumisip opened its title retention bid on a high note, nipping Iligan, 78-75, in the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup 2nd conference opening day at the Pagadian City Gymnasium here, Saturday.
The Peace Riders, who are the defending Southern champions, let the floodgates free come the fourth quarter after a nip-and-tuck battle in the previous frames.
Basilan started the payoff period with eight straight points to erect a 12-point margin, 73-61 with 6:49 to go.
A layup by Arche Salo at the 5:46 mark broke Iligan’s drought, 63-73.
The Archangels then went on a 10-4 blast, capped by Lester Tamayo’s layup, to inch within four with 20.1 ticks left.
But it was too little, too late as Cedric de Joya iced the game with a conversion from the charity stripe.
“Sabi ko sa kanila noong start ng fourth quarter mag-focus lang sa game,” said Basilan coach Ron Jalmanzar, who called the shots for head coach Jinino Manansala. “Expected na namin na dikdikan ang laban kasi ito ang first time na nabuo kami.”
Junjie Hallare exploded with 31 points on an efficient 14-of-23 shooting to go with six rebounds and two steals for Basilan.
Nikko Panganiban also came through with 17 points including two triples, while Med Salim did everything with six points, 12 rebounds, five assists, and a steal.
Only four Peace Riders from the champion team last conference are in the lineup in Hallare, Darwin Lunor, Ramz Latip, and Kim Saliddin.
Salo and Jack Hoyohoy led the balanced scoring of Iligan with 12 points apiece, the latter adding 14 rebounds.
Kris Daguisonan chalked up 11 points, eight rebounds, and four assists, while Tamayo chimed in 10 points and 11 rebounds.
Also, home team Pagadian escaped Roxas, 56-52.
Tied at 50 with 2:23 left in the game, it was Jezhreel Acaylar who delivered the goods for the Explorers.
He canned a lay-in before nailing another basket with just 1:32 to go.
Kent Segura made a layup with 1:10 left to inch within two, 52-54, but the defensive hustle of Pagadian showed up late, not allowing any bucket to fall in for the Vanguards to end the match.
“It all boils down sa defense talaga. Yun ang nagpanalo sa amin,” said Pagadian head coach Gherome Ejercito.
Basilan (78) — Hallare 31, Panganiban 17, Lunor 7, Saliddin 6, Salim 6, De Joya 4, Ferrer 3, Daa 2, Luciano 2, Julkipli 0, Solis 0.
Iligan (75) — Salo 12, Hoyohoy 12, Daguisonan 11, Tamayo 10, Dela Rea 9, Torres 7, Aparice 5, Rivera 3, Tolentino 2, Cecilio 0, Bautista 0.
Quarterscores: 20-20, 44-43, 65-61, 78-75.
Pagadian (56) –Mag-isa 11, Ibañez 11, Caballero 8, Acaylar 7, Diaz 6, Fuentes, Quimado 4 Opiso 2, Dechos 12, Pamaran 0, Demigaya 0.
Roxas (52) — Gimpoayan 14, Monte 11, Mabigat 8, Tabi 5, Segura 5, Abanto 3, Templo 2, Mandreza 2, Valin 2, Dela Cruz 0, Adante 0, Basco 0.
Quarterscores: 9-10, 23-19, 40-40, 56-52.