Coming off three straight tough losses, Basilan bounced back in a big way despite parading a shorthanded line up and dumped the Caloocan Supremos, 82-70, in the MPBL Lakan Season at the Olivarez Sports Complex in Parañaque Wednesday night.
Gab Dagangon played another solid game while Jett Vidal had a breakout performance as the two made up for the absence of key players Dennis Daa, Jay Collado and Jhaps Bautista and carried the Jumbo Plastic-backed Steel to their 10th win in 18 games.
Although Basilan wound up in a tie with Zamboanga-Family’s Brand Sardines in the team standings of the southern division of this tournament put up by Senator Manny Pacquiao with PBA legend and former MVP Kenneth Duremdes serving as commissioner, the Steel will be relegated to No.7 spot as they lost to the Universal Canning Inc.-owned franchise, which moved up to sixth spot.
Nevertheless, it was a big way to arrest an alarming skid for Basilan, whose bench players outscored its counterparts from Caloocan, 44-23, while also scoring eight more points on fast breaks, 17-9.
No other player scored in double figures at Caloocan except AJ Mandani, who produced 25 points.
“Sa amin naman ang philosophy namin it is always should be the next man up,” said Basilan coach Jerson Cabiltes. “Whoever is the next guy, just be ready.”
“Playing the tough teams was a very good learning experience for us. Doon mabi-build ang character ng team.”
Quezon City and General Santos City pulled off similar thrilling victories over their respective rivals.
The Capitals rallied from a 16-point deficit in the firs half before pulling the rug from under home squad Parañaque Patriots-Yabo Sports, 85-83.
Dahrell Caranguian played the hero’s role for the Capitals, scoring 16 points, including the game-winning fade away short stab that helped Quezon City in snapping a three-game losing binge.
Quezon City now improved its win-loss record to 7-10 and moved up to 10th place in the tough northern division.
Earlier, General Santos City relied on Jeramar Cabanag, who split his charities with one second left to escape Rizal, 70-69, in the other game.