SUBIC. — Veteran Mark Yee sank a triple in the waning seconds of overtime and powered Davao Occidental-Cocolife to an 89-88 victory over San Juan Sunday at the Rizal Memorial College Gym here to clinch the Chooks-to-Go MPBL Lakan crown.
Davao closed out the best-of-five title series at 3-1 and got back at San Juan, which prevailed in their battle for the MPBL Datu Cup in five games.
“Payback. It’s so much sweeter because we got it back from San Juan. We were so close (the) last time and it was heartbreaking as an organization,” said Coach of the Year Don Dulay.
“Sobrang saya! Payback!” said Davao floor general Joseph Terso. “Ayaw ko na paabutin ng Game 5 kasi baka maulit na naman ‘yung nangyari nung nakaraan. Binuhos ko na talaga lahat ngayon.”
The Tigers stunned the Knights in the series 77-75 but San Juan got back with a 70-65 win in Game 2.
The Tigers’ defense prevailed in Game 3 as the team scored a 66-58 victory and moved one game away from the title.
And given the chance to close out the series, the Tigers gamely delivered, thanks largely to Yee and Terso, who had 11 points including two triples, four assists, and two rebounds.
Terso stepped up when point guard Yvan Ludovice left with 41.1 seconds left in the first quarter, a victim of a knee to the groin courtesy of Jhonard Clarito, and also when veteran Bonbon Custodio fouled out at the 3:16 mark of the fourth period.
“I’ve been pushing him to be aggressive all series and today we needed him. Yvan was down, Bonbon fouled out,” Dulay said of Terso.
“We had that relationship where he knows I need him and he came through, he came big not only offensively but defensively. He’s really smart on both ends,” Dulay added.