MANILA, Philippines -- Host team Pagadian overpowered MFT Iligan, 83-70, in the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup Mindanao Challenge, Saturday at the Pagadian City Gymnasium in Zamboanga del Sur.
The Explorers were ahead by eight points at the half before piling it on in the third quarter, where they outscored the Archangels 16-10 to make it a 14-point game heading into the final period, 62-48.
Iligan went on to trail by 16 points in the fourth but rallied to within six, 71-65, with still 3:11 left to play thanks to a layup by Jack Hoyohoy.
It was the closest they would get, however, as Christian Uri, Charles Pepito, and Edzel Mag-isa conspred in a 7-2 blast to restore order, 78-67, with just 1:37 left.
"Start strong, finish strong. 'Yun lang ang gusto kong matutunan nila," said Pagadian head coach Gherome Ejercito. "Noong nakahabol ang Iligan, sinabi ko dapat matuto na tayo, kailangan lumaban tayo."
Uri had his best game for the Explorers with 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting, while Keanu Caballero contributed 14 points and five assists.
Orvelle Saludsod provided instant offense for Pagadian, scoring 11 points in just nine minutes of play.
The Vanguards improved to 4-5, leapfrogging Basilan for fifth.
Mag-isa was also big in the win, going for 11 points, six rebounds, and six steals.
Jack Hoyohoy and Algeroh Benitez both finished with 12 points for the 2-7 Archangels with the former adding 10 rebounds.
Elmer Aparice hit the showers early after being slapped with a flagrant foul penalty two for throwing a closed fist during the second quarter with 6.9 ticks to go.
Allen Demapilis was also ejected for Pagadian after incurring two technical fouls, the last at the 3:36 mark of the fourth.
Pagadian plays again tomorrow versus the struggling Basilan BRT at 6:30 pm. Iligan clashes with BYB Kapatagan on Monday, 4 pm.
Pagadian 83 - Uri 14, Caballero 14, Mag-isa 11, Saludsod 11, Fuentes 9, Diaz 8, Ibanez 8, Pepito 4, Pamaran 2, Dechos 2, Tolentino 0, Baldeo 0, Demapilis 0, Demigaya 0, Quimado 0.
Iligan 70 - Benitez 12, Hoyohoy 12, Tamayo 11, Cuyos 8, Salo 7, Torres 5, Dela Rea 4, Quinga 4, Daguisonan 4, Cruz 2, Rivera 1, Aparice 0, Tagolimot 0, Andrade 0, Cecilio 0.
Quarterscores: 18-17, 46-38, 62-48, 83-70.