The Davao Occidental Tigers crawled back in the final frame to beat the San Juan Knights, 77-66, in Game 4 of the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League National Finals at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan City on Monday night.
The Tigers outscored the Knights, 32-13, in the final 10 minutes to take the comeback win and tie the best-of-five series at 2 wins apiece.
Billy Robles made 22 points, 18 rebounds, three assist, and one steal for Davao Occidental, which forced a deciding Game 5 back in Davao City on Thursday night.
Orlan Wamar put up 19 markers, two rebounds, and two assists for San Juan, which missed out on clinching the title at home.
The Tigers were nine minutes away from losing the league’s first-ever National Finals, down by 10, 57-47.
Robles had other plans, however, and went berserk the rest of the way where he dropped 12 of his 22 points while also totaling 18 rebounds and three assists. “Billy played big and then the key there is we executed on both ends of the floor,” head coach Don Dulay said post-game.
He was joined by guards Joseph Terso and Emman Calo who merged for 19 points, eight rebounds, four assists, and four steals.
In all, Davao Occidental went on a 30-9 tear in the last nine minutes to turn a 10-point deficit into a 11-point win. “You saw my guys fighting the whole game. We had some lapses and kept telling those guys to fix those and we’ll be okay,” Dulay said.
Robles just couldn’t be stopped during that pivotal push, outscoring all of their opponents by his lonesome, 12-9.
Most importantly, Robles kept his team alive and kicking as they go back home to the Davao City Recreation Center for the winner-take-all Game 5 for the national championship on Thursday.
For the Knights, Orlan Wamar showed the way with 19 points while John Wilson chipped in a 17-marker, 12-rebound double-double.
DAVAO OCCIDENTAL 77 — Robles 22, Yee 14, Terso 11, Calo 10, Najorda 8, Custodio 7, Raymundo 3, Lamocha 2, Regalado 0, Medalla 0, Gonzales 0.
SAN JUAN 66 — Wamar 19, Wilson 17, Cardona 9, Rodriguez 6, Ayonayon 4, Clarito 4, Jeruta 3, Reyes 2, Muyang 2, Aquino 0, Marquez 0.
Quarter scores: 12-17, 29-34, 45-53, 77-66