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Davao Occi turns back gritty Parañaque to keep top spot in MPBL South

Mark Yee played like his usual self as the Tigers got back on the winning track. MPBL
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—Davao Occidental bounced back from the bad beating it had over the weekend with a 78-70 win over Parañaque in the MPBL Lakan Season at the San Andres Sports Complex on Wednesday night.

Four nights after the San Juan Knights dealt them their worst loss of the season in their finals rematch, the Tigers got back to their winning ways, although they had to overcome an early upset bid from the Patriots.

Playing spoiler, Parañaque raced to a 27-21 lead in the second quarter to the surprise of Davao Occi, but the latter answered with a 16-1 run to take the lead, 37-28.

The Tigers stretched their lead to as high as 15, 74-59, with 4:58 left in the fourth quarter, but the Patriots went on a 11-2 run to trim the lead down to six, 76-70, with 45 seconds remaining. Bogs Raymundo finally iced the win for Davao Occi with a dagger layup right at the next play.

"Parañaque played tough. This is another learning experience for us. It is good playing against those hungry and young teams," said Coach Don Dulay after the win.

Mark Yee led the Tigers, who kept their hold of the top spot in the Southern Division with their 22nd win against four losses, a half game ahead of the Bacoor City Strikers, with 17 points, 17 rebounds, and six assists. Eman Calo added 13 points, six rebounds, and one assist.

James Abugan put up 14 markers, nine rebounds, three dimes, two steals, and one block for the also ran Patriots, who fell to 8-20.

The Scores:

Davao Occidental-Cocolife 78 - Yee 17, Calo 13, Balagtas 12, Saldua 11, Robles 10, Raymundo 10, Ludovice 3, Bonleon 2, Gaco 0, Mocon 0, Forrester 0, Adormeo 0.

Paranaque-Yabo Sports 70 - Abugan 14, Pido 12, Sunga 11, Solis 10, Mangalino 10, Saguiguit 7, Banzali 4, Begaso 2, Larotin 0, Antonares 0, Lucente 0, Menguez 0.

Quarterscores: 18-23, 43-34, 64-52, 78-70.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno