MPBL: Davao Occ escapes as Pangasinan's comeback falls short

Arth Dela Cruz was solid anew for Davao Occidental. MPBL
By Ivan Saldajeno

BINAN--Davao Occidental averted a late collapse and prevailed over Pangasinan with a 64-62 win in their MPBL battle on Friday night at the Alonte Sports Arena.

The Tigers seemed to be on track for an endgame blowout after opening an eight-point lead, 61-53, with exactly 100 seconds left.

However, the Heatwaves went on a 9-2 run to cut the lead down to just one, 63-62, with 25.1 seconds to go.

Jun Manzo, who sent shockwaves last week after burying the longest shot in the MPBL's young history, kept the door open for Pangasinan as he only made 1-for-2 from the foul line with 12.1 seconds remaining.

However, Hesed Gabo misfired a stepback three on the other end, and Kurt Lojera secured the rebound to preserve Davao Occidental's win.

Arth Dela Cruz put up 17 points, 11 rebounds, five assists, three steals, and three blocks for the Tigers, who moved up to 7-2.

Manzo added 11 points, five rebounds, and six assists.

Ralph Robin made 17 points, three rebounds, and two assists to lead the Heatwaves, who fell to 2-7 with yet another heartbreaking loss.

Box Scores:

DAVAO OCCIDENTAL 64 - Dela Cruz 17, Manzo 11, Lojera 6, Andrada 6, Simon 5, Gamalinda 4, Arana 4, Tumalip 3, Ighalo 3, Enguio 3, Martinez 2, Mancao 0, Sarangay 0, Bayla 0.

PANGASINAN 62 - Robin 17, Daquiaog 16, Mabulac 12, Bautista 6, Gabo 4, Taganas 3, Melencio 2, Gabriel 2,  Tolentino 0,  Caasi 0,  Javillonar 0, Meneses 0, Villamor 0, Dyke 0, Tan 0.

Quarterscores: 19-12, 32-28, 47-45, 64-62

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