TAKE it from head coach Don Dulay: The No.1 team should always have that winning mentality.
The Tigers of Davao Occidental showed a perfect example of a team that doesn’t have time to relax and they came to Muntinlupa Sports Complex with only one thing in mind — win.
Playing with an ailing guard and orphaned by a veteran quarterback in the fourth period, the Tigers still managed to find a way to win big over the home team Muntinlupa Cagers, 88-82, in the MPBL Datu Cup late Wednesday night.
The Cocolife-backed Tigers played without injured Billy Robles, then missed Bonbon Custodio, another dependable guard after he and Dhon Reverente of the Cagers were slapped with two technical fouls each leading to their ejection.
Collectively, the Tigers showed their revolve amidst the adversities and they showed toughness against the Cagers cheered on by their boisterous crowd.
Leo Najorda scattered 23 points, Mark Yee had another double-double effort and Custodio and Adormeo had 14 and 10, respectively for Davao Occidental, which ended its elimination round campaign with a 20-5 record and kept a hold of the No.1 spot in the southern division of this tournament put up by Senator Manny Pacquiao with PBA legend and former MVP Kenneth Duremdes serving as commissioner.
“That’s what we want to bring ahead of the playoffs. We need to bring that winning mentality and to bring it, we have to show it in our last game of the elimination round,” Dulay told FOX Sports Philippines.
“Coming to this game, I was really thinking if these guys can keep themselves motivated to win even though we’re still No.1. But they kept that winning mentality and there was no time to relax,” he added.
Davao Occidental will face either Imus and Cebu, which are still battling out the last two placings of the south division of this tournament also supported by LGR, the official outfitter of the MPBL.