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Basilan escapes Sarangani's upset bid in 1st MPBL game in Sta. Rosa City

By Ivan Saldajeno

STA. ROSA, Laguna--Basilan waxed hot in the fourth quarter to survive Sarangani's gallant stand and win, 85-82, in the first game of the MPBL Lakan Season at the Sta. Rosa Multi-Purpose Sports Complex on Saturday night.

The Marlins were on poise of a giant slaying after taking control for most of the first three quarters, but the Steel came alive in the fourth, outscoring the Marlins, 22-10, in the first 7:18 of the period to take an 83-75 lead with 2:42 left.

Sarangani still tried to bounce back after going on a 7-0 run to cut the lead down to one, 83-82, with 28.6 seconds remaining, but Dennis Daa scored on a clutch jumper with 4.6 seconds to go to up Basilan's lead to three.

Jorem Morada had one last gasp to force overtime, but his long three-point attempt just rimmed out as time expired.

Daa and Cris Dumapig each scored 15 markers for the Steel, who moved up to solo fourth place in the Southern Division at 15-8, just a half game behind the GenSan Warriors for third place.

Orin Catacutan put up 23 markers, six rebounds, and two assists off the bench for the also-ran Marlins, who fell further to 1-22.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno