MANILA, Philippines -- Pagadian escaped Roxas, 56-52, in the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup Open Conference, Saturday evening at the Pagadian City Gymnasium in Zamboanga del Sur.
Tied at 50 with 2:23 left in the game, it was Jezhreel Acaylar who delivered the goods for the Explorers.
He canned a lay-in before nailing another basket with just 1:32 to go.
Kent Segura made a layup with 1:10 left to inch within two, 52-54, but the defensive hustle of Pagadian showed up late, not allowing any bucket to fall in for the Vanguards to end the match.
"It all boils down sa defense talaga. Yun ang nagpanalo sa amin," said Pagadian head coach Gherome Ejercito.
Edzel Mag-isa dropped a double-double for the Explorers with 11 points and 12 rebounds, while Niño Ibañez also got himself 11.
Visayas Leg MVP Jaymar Gimpayan, formerly of the MJAS Zenith-Talisay, finished with 14 points and nine rebounds for Roxas.
Marlon Monte added 11 points but needed 13 shots to do so.
Both teams will be back in action on Monday. The Explorers will open the day against Iligan at 4 pm, while the Vanguards will clash with Zamboanga Sibugay at 6:30 pm.
Pagadian 56 - Mag-isa 11, Ibañez 11, Caballero 8, Acaylar 7, Diaz 6, Fuentes, Quimado 4 Opiso 2, Dechos 12, Pamaran 0, Demigaya 0.
Roxas 52 - Gimpoayan 14, Monte 11, Mabigat 8, Tabi 5, Segura 5, Abanto 3, Templo 2, Mandreza 2, Valin 2, Dela Cruz 0, Adante 0, Basco 0.
Quarterscores: 9-10, 23-19, 40-40, 56-52.