DAVAO CITY -- Third-ranked Basilan-Jumbo Plastic gutted out a 77-63 victory over second seed Bacoor City to open the 2019-20 Chooks-to-Go/MPBL Lakan Season South semifinals at the RMC Petrogazz Gymnasium here, Monday.
Down by as much as 12 points, the Strikers were able to turn the deficit to just a point off of a lay-in from Ian Melencio, 53-54, in the final frame.
However, Allyn Bulanadi kick-started a 23-6 blast with a three-point bomb to separate Basilan from Bacoor, 77-59, with 3:55 remaining in the game.
Hessed Gabo, Japs Bautista, and Jay Collado also contributed in the run which gave Basilan an 18-point advantage -- its biggest in the game.
That proved to be enough for the Steel who now has a 1-0 series advantage.
"I just told the boys to stay composed and to continue what we're doing right which is to put pressure on the ball," said Basilan head coach Jerson Cabiltes.
Bulanadi unleashed 22 points on 8-of-19 shooting to lead Basilan. He also had three rebounds, two assists, two steals, and a block across his name.
Gabo chipped in 13 points, six assists, three rebounds, along with three turnovers in the victory.
Bacoor missed the services of lead gunner Gab Banal -- who hurt his left knee in the second quarter with 1:19 left in the second period after a collision with Bulanadi.
Oping Sumalinog was the lone double-digit scorer for Bacoor with 10 points.
RJ Ramirez, Nick Demusis, and Mark Pangilinan added eight points apiece.
Game Two takes place on Thursday at the Strike Gymnasium.
Basilan-Jumbo Plastic (77) -- Bulanadi 23, Gabo 13, Dagangon 8, Dumapig 6, Collado 5, Sorela 5, Bringas 4, Daa 3, Manalang 2, Palencia 2, Uyloan 2
Bacoor City (63) -- Sumalinog 10, Demusis 8, Ramirez 8, Pangilinan 8, Cañete 6, Mabulac 6, Banal 6, Melencio 4, Montuano 2, Aquino 1, Acuña 0
Quarterscores: 16-14, 35-26, 54-51, 77-63