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Basilan blows by Mandaue in opener of VisMin Cup South Finals

Chris Bitoon sizzled again for Basilan. Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas/Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Basilan remained on fire despite only having a short rest and clobbered Mandaue, 94-67, in Game 1 of the Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup Southern Finals on Wednesday night at the Pagadian City Gymnasium.

Basilan, which two nights ago clinched the Mindanao Leg championship, stomped its class against Mandaue, the reigning Visayas champion which only returned to action after three months.

Basilan quickly raced to a double-digit lead in the first quarter, finishing the period with a 24-11 lead.

Mandaue seemed to have found its groove in the second quarter and was just within seven, 28-35, late in the period.

But banking on a strong finish to the second, Basilan pulled away for good in the third quarter by outscoring Mandaue, 31-15.

Chris Bitoon led Basilan, which drew first blood in the best-of-five grand finals, 19 points, one rebound, three assists, and two steals.

Jong Baloria added 13 points, seven rebounds, three assists, and one block.

Steve Castro put up 18 points on 7-of-11 shooting including 4-for-6 from three-point range, five rebounds, and two assists for Mandaue, which dearly missed the services of key players Ping Exciminiano, Gryann Mendoza, and Alfrancis Tamsi, who are currently signed in the PBA.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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