MANILA--Despite another physical battle which has been the norm of the its MPBL South Division semifinal series against Bacoor City, Basilan took over in the end especially when Allyn Bulanadi came alive.
The Gilas Cadet dropped three straight triples that broke the ice as the Steel ousted the Strikers, 84-76, to clinch a spot in the South finals on Saturday night at the Bacoor City STRIKE Gymnasium.
With the game tied at 71-all, Bulanadi fired consecutive treys, one from the left corner, another from top of the key that went off the glass, and a running long bomb from the right win to put Basilan ahead, 80-71, with 1:26 left.
"Allyn hit the biggest shots of the game that pulled us to the win... that is why he is in the Gilas program," Coach Jerson Cabiltes said about Bulanadi's takeover.
Bacoor City still tried to fight back, scoring five straight points to cut the lead down to four, 80-76, with 27 seconds remaining.
The Steel, however, were able to milk a lot of seconds on the clock before making four straight free throws that sealed the win.
Bulanadi, the fourth overall pick of last year's PBA Draft, also had seven rebounds, three assists, and one steal for Basilan, which will face Davao Occidental in the South finals starting Monday night at the Rizal Memorial Colleges-Petro Gazz Arena in Davao City.
Jay Collado added 18 points, 15 rebounds, one assist, one block, and one steal.
Ian Melencio engaged in a scoring battle with Bulanadi and finished with 22 markers on top of five rebounds, four assists, and one steal off the bench to lead Bacoor City, which was knocked out despite being the second seed in the South.
Basilan-Jumbo Plastic 84 - Bulanadi 35, Collado 18, Bautista 13, Manalang 4, Dumapig 4, Balucanag 4, Gabo 2, Palencia 2, Uyloan 2, Hallare 0, Bringas 0, Daa 0.
Bacoor 76 - Melencio 22, Pangilinan 11, Mabulac 10, Montuano 8, Acuña 7, Cañete 5, Castro 4, Aquino 3, Demusis 2, Ramirez 2, Sumalinog 2, Destacamento.
Quarterscores: 19-22, 41-35, 60-56, 84-76.
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