MANILA, Philippines -- Rich Guinitaran was unstoppable as Pagadian pulled off a shock 82-68 demolition over JPS Zamboanga City in the 2021 Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup, Tuesday at the Provincial Gymnasium in Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay.
Powerhouse Zamboanga trailed by as much as 13 points before trimming the deficit to just three points on a Jaypee Belencion triple at the 3:54 mark of the fourth quarter.
Guinitaran was there to answer, however, scoring eight consecutive points to restore order for Pagadian. His final bucket, a putback off a miss by Mark Benitez, gave them an 11-point cushion, 79-68, with just 1:51 to play.
"What do you expect? Si Rich isa sa mga main man ko 'yan. Rich is a very versatile player and anytime pwede pumutok sa labas 'yan," said Pagadian coach Harold Sta. Cruz of Guinitaran, a product of the Centro Escolar University who transferred to Arellano University last year.
Guinitaran made eight of his 10 field goals, including five of six attempts from beyond the arc. He added five rebounds and five assists to help the Explorers improve to 2-0.
Keanu Caballero flirted with a triple-double with 10 markers, seven boards, and seven dimes.
Big men Gabby Espinas and Jerwin Gaco paced the 1-1 JPS with 14 and 11 points, respectively, with the latter adding 11 rebounds.
Playmaker Fran Yu did not play for Zamboanga due to a stiff neck, while Gino Jumao-as appeared to hurt his right knee after a collision down low at the 1:57 mark of the first quarter. He did not return.
Pagadian aims for a 3-0 start when it squares off against another powerhouse in Basilan on Thursday at 4 p.m. Meanwhile, JPS looks to return in the win column on Saturday, 2 p.m. against MisOr.
Pagadian 82 - Guinitaran 26, Caballero 10, Benitez 8, Dechos 8, Serrano 7, Saludsod 5, Pamaran 5, Demigaya 4, Acaylar 4, Singedas 2, Villaver 2, Manalo 1, Bolotaolo 0, Quimado 0, Bautista 0.
Zamboanga City 68 - Espinas 14, Gaco 11, Belencion 9, Cardona 8, Lingganay 7, Salim 5, Matias 5, Jeruta 3, Neypes 2, Waminal 0, Ferrer 0.
Quarterscores: 20-16, 43-37, 61-54, 82-68.