|Don Dulay is hopeful that the Tigers will make a repeat of how they stopped the Knights in Game 3. Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas/MPBL|
MANILA--Defense finally dictated Davao Occidental's performance in Game 3 of the MPBL Finals.
On Saturday at the Subic Bay Gymnasium, the team held San Juan to just 58 points all game long, a far cry from the first two matches of the best-of-five series wherein they let the national champs score 70 on both occasions.
The Tigers limited the Knights to 19-of-61 shooting including a very dismal 10-of-36 clip from inside the two-point range.
"Our defense came through," Coach Don Dulay said after Davao Occidental's pivotal Game 3 win.
[Related Story: Davao Occidental nears MPBL title after closing out SJ]
There were still slip-ups in the second half, though, like Mike Ayonayon's one-man rally in the third quarter and an 8-0 run in the fourth quarter that cut the Tigers' lead down to three in both junctures.
The Knights, however, could not finish the job as Bon-Bon Custodio countered Ayonayon's barrage with one of his own and Joseph Terso and Ken Mocon buried clutch triples to preserve the Tigers' cause.
Now up 2-1, Davao Occidental has a chance to steal the title from San Juan in Game 4 scheduled on Sunday.
And Dulay believes that the Tigers must repeat their stifling defense on the Knights to finally win it all.
If we can play defense like this, we have a big chance," he further said.
Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno