By Ivan Saldajeno
MANILA--Basilan crashed into the bottom of the Southern Division standings thanks to a seven-game losing streak.
On Saturday night, the team from way south stunned no less than the defending Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League champ.
Basilan pulled its own upset ax on Saturday night and downed Batangas City, 94-89, at the Bulacan Capitol Gymnasium in Malolos.
The Steel came alive in the second half to rip the undermanned Athletics as they inched closer in the playoff race.
Despite giving up a 6-0 start to Basilan, Batangas City took over in the first half, dropping 30 points in the first quarter before limiting Basilan to just 16 in the second.
However, the Steel went on a roll in the third quarter, scoring 29 points as they cut an 11-point halftime deficit down to two, 70-72.
The Athletics actually had an opportunity to pull away after maintaining a five-point cushion, 84-79, with 4:15 remaining in the fourth.
Basilan then came up with a 9-3 run to take an 88-87 lead with 1:48 to play.
Adi Santos gave Batangas City its last taste of the lead at 89-88 with a layup with 1:31 to go, but Basilan finished the game with a 6-0 rally, all off free throws, to steal the victory.
Macky Acosta made 21 points, seven rebounds, and one assist, while Japs Bautista and Dennis Daa each added 15 for the Steel, who moved up to 6-12, just within 1.5 games of the Cebu City Sharks and the Laguna Heroes for eighth and ninth places in the South.
Val Acuña's 28-point bomb and Lester Alvarez's 23-point output came up short as the Athletics fell to 11-8.
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