MANILA, Philippines -- Zamboanga Sibugay is one game away from securing the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup Mindanao Challenge crown after fending off BYB Kapatagan in Game 1, 73-64, late Wednesday night at the Pagadian City Gymnasium in Zamboanga del Sur.
The Anak Mindanao Warriors look to annex the championship on Thursday's Game 2 at 6 pm.
"Aayusin pa namin especially 'yung defense. Papagurin pa namin sila, tatakbuhan namin sila para makuha na 'yung championship bukas," said Zamboanga Sibugay head coach Arnold Oliveros.
The Warriors ended the game on a 12-2 blast to inch one win away from the title.
Ahead by just a point after a Jonel Bonganciso basket on the other end, Rhaffy October hit a triple that kickstarted the game-deciding blitz.
Enrique Caunan, Jan Jamon, Jaybie Mantilla, and Shaq Imperial added seven more points before Octobre topped it off with a booming long-two for the dagger with 44.1 seconds left, 73-62.
"Pinasikip namin 'yung shaded area para makuha namin 'yung rebound or ma-stop namin sila down the stretch," added Oliveros.
Mantilla bagged his second straight Chooks-to-Go Manok ng Bayan Player of the Game award with 21 points on 8-of-12 shooting to go with four rebounds and three steals.
Jamon chipped in 15 points of his own, built on three treys, while Octobre added 11 points and eight rebounds.
Richard Kwong, who fouled out with 2:03 left in the match, led the Buffalos with 19 points, nine rebounds, three assists, and two steals.
Bonganciso got 15 points and 10 rebounds while KD Ariar had 13 points and six rebounds.
Conference MVP Edrian Lao was silenced with just six points on 2-of-13 shooting.
Zamboanga Sibugay 73 – Mantilla 21, Jamon 15, Octobre 11, Arong 6, Imperial 6, Dumapig 4, Foronda 4, Sorela 3, Caunan 3, Lacastesantos 0, Acain 0, Pasia 0, Bangcoyan 0.
Kapatagan 64 – Kwong 19, Bonganciso 15, Ariar 13, Lao 6, Daanoy 4, Rodriguez 4, Puerto 3, Sollano 0, Delfinado 0, Igot 0.
Quarterscores: 18-12, 38-34, 54-49, 73-64.