MANILA, Philippines -- -- The new-look Basilan BRT Sumisip opened its title retention bid on a high note, nipping Iligan, 78-75, in the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup 2nd conference opening day at the Pagadian City Gymnasium in Zamboanga del Sur, Saturday.
The Peace Riders, the defending Southern champions, opened the floodgates in the fourth quarter after the teams figured in a nip-and-tuck game in the previous frames.
Basilan started the payoff period with eight straight points to erect a 12-point margin, 73-61 with 6:49 to go.
A layup by Arche Salo at the 5:46 mark broke Iligan's drought, 63-73.
The Archangels then went on a 10-4 blast, capped by Lester Tamayo's layup, to inch within four with 20.1 ticks left.
But it was too little, too late as Cedric de Joya iced the game with a conversion from the charity stripe.
"Sabi ko sa kanila noong start ng fourth quarter, mag-focus lang sa game," said Basilan coach Ron Jalmanzar, who called the shots for head coach Jinino Manansala. "Expected na namin na dikdikan ang laban kasi ito ang first time na nabuo kami."
Junjie Hallare exploded with 31 points on an efficient 14-of-23 shooting to go with six rebounds and two steals for Basilan.
Nikko Panganiban also came through with 17 points including two triples, while Med Salim did everything with six points, 12 rebounds, five assists, and a steal.
Only four Peace Riders from the champion team last conference are in the lineup in Hallare, Darwin Lunor, Ramz Latip, and Kim Saliddin.
Salo and Jack Hoyohoy led the balanced scoring of Iligan with 12 points apiece, the latter adding 14 rebounds.
Kris Daguisonan chalked up 11 points, eight rebounds, and four assists, while Tamayo chimed in 10 points and 11 rebounds.
The Archangels aim to enter the win column on Monday against Pagadian at 4 pm. Meanwhile, the Peace Riders return to action on Wednesday against MisOr at 6:30 pm.
Basilan 78 - Hallare 31, Panganiban 17, Lunor 7, Saliddin 6, Salim 6, De Joya 4, Ferrer 3, Daa 2, Luciano 2, Julkipli 0, Solis 0.
Iligan 75 - Salo 12, Hoyohoy 12, Daguisonan 11, Tamayo 10, Dela Rea 9, Torres 7, Aparice 5, Rivera 3, Tolentino 2, Cecilio 0, Bautista 0.
Quarterscores: 20-20, 44-43, 65-61, 78-75.