Davao Occidental shuts down Bicol in OT to finally make MPBL South semis

Davao Occidental shuts down Bicol in OT to finally make MPBL South semis

Jerwin Gaco played the "magic bunot" role, while Mark Yee played as if he never teared his ACL at all. MPBL

By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—Davao Occidental completely smothered Bicol in the overtime session to finally clinch a spot in the MPBL Southern Division Semifinals with a 64-56 win at the Rizal Memorial Colleges-Petro Gazz Arena in Davao City on Wednesday night.

In a game that saw both teams struggling offensively, the Tigers finally repulsed the resilient Volcanoes, who even took the lead in the third quarter, in extra time, keeping them scoreless the entire period as a hook shot from Mark Yee, who played through what Coach Don Dulay revealed as a partial ACL tear aside from the initially reported plantaris muscle tear in his right calf, sparked their breakaway.

"The doctor said that he can't play but he told me that he wants to. What can you do? You got to let him fight," Dulay said on why he decided to gamble on playing Yee.

Bonbon Custodio led Davao Occidental, which will take on Zamboanga in the next round starting on Monday night back at the RMC Petro Gazz Arena, with 14 points, five rebounds, three assists, and one steal.

In what would be his best game as a Tiger, Jerwin Gaco added 10 points, all in the fourth quarter, eight rebounds, and two steals off the bench.

Even Richard Albo and Ken Mocon provided some spark for Davao Occidental, making eight and five points respectively.

"Even if guys like Albo, Gaco, and Mocon are not used a lot, they still show up in practice and in the game. That's all a coach can ask for," Dulay continued.

Yee finished with four points, six rebounds, and three steals in nearly 19 minutes of play off the bench.

JR Ongteco had 16 points, seven rebounds, one assist, and four blocks for Bicol, but he was dearly missed in overtime after fouling out late in regulation.

The Scores:

Davao Occidental-Cocolife 64 - Custodio 14, Gaco 10, Calo 9, Robles 9, Albo 8, Mocon 5, Terso 4, Yee 4, Balagtas 1, Raymundo 0, Saldua 0.

Bicol-LCC Stores 56 - Ongteco 16, Alday 15, Buenafe 9, Mondragon 7, Garcia 3, Aldave 2, Gusi 2, Manalang 2, Guerrero 0, Lalata 0, Olea 0.

Quarterscores: 11-9, 26-24, 42-43, 56-56, 64-56.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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