Robles lifts Davao Occ past Pasay

Billy Robles delivered the goods once again as the Ilonggo guard’s last-second lay-up earned the Davao Occidental Tigers – Cocolife a thrilling 69-67 win over the Pasay Voyagers in front of a hostile crowd in the Cuneta Astrodome on Monday in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Lakan Season.

The Davao Occidental-Cocolife Tigers celebrate their win over Pasay Voyagers on Monday. MPBL photo

The feat recalled Robles’ epic game winner in the last MPBL conference finals when he forced a game five against San Juan last April.

Ronnel Lastimosa hit two treys in the fourth quarter to keep Pasay in the game, but it wasn’t enough.

Axel Inigo led all scorers with 20 markers for Pasay, but Davao had more balanced production, with Robles netting 12 points and Mark Yee, James Forrester, Joseph Terso all hitting double figures.

Pasay started the game ice-cold, only getting their first basket of the game, a short-range jumper from Dhon Reverente, with 52 seconds left in the first quarter and with the Tigers having already amassed 13 points.

The Voyagers roared back in the second quarter on the back of Iñigo’s 12 first-half points. They even led 25-22 at one point but it was Davao Occidental in the lead at the half, 36-29. Pasay kept pace in the third before making a valiant stand in the fourth that just fell short.

The Tigers up their record to 3-1 this Lakan Season while Pasay stumbles to 3-2.

In the second matchup of the evening, the Bacoor Strikers used balanced scoring in the fourth quarter to blow wide open a close game and defeat Zamboanga Family’s Sardines, 83-75.

Michael Mabulac led Bacoor with 24 points, 9 in the fourth, while hauling in 11 boards. Reed Juntilla shone for Family’s Sardines with 14 points in a losing effort.

Rebounding was key, as Bacoor picked up 56 against Zamboanga’s 34. The red-hot Caviteños extend their win streak to four as they improve to 4-1 in the season. Zamboanga drops to 1-3.

In the opener Bicol Volcanoes LCC Malls overcame Imus Khaleb Shawarma GLC Truck and Equipment 81-78 in overtime thanks largely to 26 points from Camarines Sur native Ronjay Buenafe.

A close game saw Bicol up 72-70 with 5.8 seconds remaining. Imus guard Roy Cantimbuhan showed his class by draining two free throws to tie the game. In the ensuing inbound Bandera center Kasim Mirza was whistled for a delay of game after encroaching on the inbounder. That gave Bicol a potentially game-winning technical free throw and possession. To the relief of Mirza, Buenafe muffed the charity and the game went into overtime.

Buenafe atoned for his miss by bossing the extension with five points and an assist as the Bicolanos improved to 3-2. Khaleb Shawarma slumps to 1-3.