Jumbo Plastic-Basilan made a statement victory by blasting Visayas champion KCS Mandaue, 94-67, to take Game 1 of their 2021 Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup best-of-five Southern Finals, on Wednesday at the Pagadian City Gymnasium.
The Computer Specialists made the first basket of the game, but that would be the last time they saw the scoreboard in their favor.
The Peace Riders would take a 44-31 halftime advantage.
"Noong first half, we couldn't pull away kasi on some plays disorganized kami sa executions. Sinabihan ko lang sila na just follow the pattern sa executions at mas tigasan pa ang depensa," said Basilan head coach Jerson Cabiltes.
But Basilan showed their might once more, going on a 16-3 rally, capped by Michael Mabulac's deuce in the paint, to build a 26-point lead with 6:15 left in the third period, 60-34.
Jong Baloria's freebie put the Mindanao kings on top by 35, their biggest of the game, 86-50 with 5:43 to go in the match.
Mindanao Leg Finals MVP Chris Bitoon continued his fine play, producing 19 points, three assists, and two steals.
Baloria followed suit with 13 points, seven rebounds, and three assists, while Michael Mabulac punched in 11 points and six rebounds.
Michael Juico, Philip Manalang, and Bobby Balucanag tallied 10 points apiece.
Steve Castro was the lone bright spot for KCS with 18 points on 7-of-11 shooting from the field, to go with five rebounds and two assists. Miguel Gastador added 11 points.
Basilan targets a 2-0 lead on Thursday.
FROM THE ARCHIVES