PAGADIAN, ZAMBOANGA DEL SUR — Roxas scored a crucial 79-70 victory over Basilan BRT, to snap its two-game skid in the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup Mindanao Challenge at the Pagadian City Gymnasium here, Thursday.
The Vanguards improved to 6-5 in a three-way tie for third place with Pagadian and Zamboanga Sibugay. However, they are at the bottom of the logjam for losing all their outings against the other two squads.
Trailing by a whopping 19 points early in the fourth quarter, the Peace Riders crawled back to the game with a 15-2 blast to slash the gap to just six, 72-66, with 3:22 to go.
But James Martinez, Marlon Monte, and Nick Abanto’s buckets kept Roxas afloat for their squad to hold on to the victory.
The Vanguards nailed 26 points in the third period while limiting the Peace Riders to 15 to turn a 40-36 affair to a 66-51 advantage.
“Ang game plan namin talaga ay dumepensa, noong nawala ‘yun nakahabol ang Basilan kaya bumalik lang kami sa depensa,” said Roxas head coach Alvin Grey.
Abanto delivered a monster performance for the Vanguards with 20 points on a hot 10-of-14 shooting to go with 18 rebounds, and four blocks.
Martinez had his best game for Roxas with 17 points, while Marlon Monte added 10 points of his own.
They played without one of their key players in Embons Bonleon who is day-to-day with a minor injury.
Darwin Lunor registered 23 points on a 9-of-15 clip from the field to go with six rebounds in the loss for Basilan.
Jorem Morada chalked up 21 points on 4-of-12 shooting from deep alongside six rebounds, five assists, and five steals.
The Peace Riders will enter the quarterfinals at the sixth spot behind a 4-7 win-loss card. They will face the eventual third seed.
Both clubs will close the elimination round tomorrow. Basilan faces Zamboanga Sibugay at 4 pm, while Roxas caps the night against Globalport-MisOr at 6:30 pm.
Roxas 79 – Abanto 20, Martinez 17, Monte 10, Segura 7, Tabi 6, Basco 5, Valin 5, Dela Cruz 5, Mabigat 2, Mandreza 2, Templo 0.
Basilan 70 – Lunor 23, Morada 21, Panganiban 8, Ansaldo 3, Saliddin 2, Albina 2, Daa 2, Ferrer 2, Soliva 2, Royo 2, Luciano 1, Bulac 0, Solis 0.
Quarterscores: 13-12, 40-36, 66-51, 79-70.