No. 4 seed Petra Cement-Roxas moved to the cusp of the Mindanao leg finals of the 2021 Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup in thrilling fashion on Wednesday.
Trailing by as many as 18 points, the Vanguards clawed their way back to shock fifth-seeded Zamboanga City in overtime, 91-84, and take Game 1 of the best-of-three semis phase two at the Pagadian City Gymnasium.
Veterans Leo Najorda and Chito Jaime stepped up big time for Roxas.
Najorda scored the first seven points for the Vanguards while Jaime followed it up with a triple and a layup to put their squad ahead, 87-81, with 1:09 left in the extra period.
JPS, who was shooting a high 13-of-15 from the line prior to overtime, suddenly bricked their shots, going 4-of-8 in the extra period.
Down by 10 entering the payoff period, the Vanguards tied things up on Leo Najorda's layup with 19.7 ticks left.
Zamboanga's Fran Yu took the final shot in the fourth frame, driving to the cup but missed his layup to send the game to overtime.
Najorda, who was averaging just 9.8 points prior to this game. finished with 19 points on 8-of-14 shooting, to go with five rebounds, a steal, and a block.
James Castro pumped in 19 points, nine rebounds, and six assists, while Jhong Bondoc added 15 points and eight rebounds against six turnovers.
Jaime had nine points, including seven in overtime. Another Vanguard who stepped up was Jordan Sta. Ana who had 14 rebounds, eight points, and six rebounds.
Gabby Espinas was the high man for JPS with 18 points, eight rebounds, four assists, and two steals. Fran Yu and Mac Cardona also fired 14 points apiece.
Roxas looks to book its place in the Finals on Thursday while Zamboanga shoots for a decider.
FROM THE ARCHIVES