TIGERS ROAR | Davao Occi devours Batangas City, moves a win away from MPBL Nat’l Finals

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DAVAO CITY — Playing on its third venue here, the Davao Occidental Tigers didn’t have much trouble playing in the comforts of home.

The Cocolife-backed Tigers devoured on the struggling Batangas City Athletics-Tanduay and scored a decisive 66-48 win at the full packed Almendras Gymnasium here.

Davao Occidental engaged Batangas City in a defensive struggle, holding the inaugural staging champion to 20 turnovers and just 31-percent shooting from the field (18-of-58). The 48-point output of Batangas City was its franchise low and it came at a bad time.

Even Batangas City’s free throw shooting was more of an eyesore as it only made 9-of-19 shots (47 percent).

The Tigers didn’t shoot well either as they hit only 37-percent from the field (27-of-73). But they took good care of the basketball, limiting their turnovers to only seven.

Guards Bonbon Custodio and Joseph Terso combined for 23 points and 12 rebounds as they outplayed their counterparts from Batangas City.

Mark Yee missed a double-double performance, finishing with 10 points and nine boards. But he had a highlight reel when he slammed the ball home off a fast break in the midst of Batangas City’s rally in the fourth period.

Jeff Viernes and Jhaymo Eguilos, two of the Athletics’ dependable players, struggled all game long.

Viernes only had nine markers on 3-for-15 shooting from the field, including an ill-advised fall away shot in the final quarter.

Eguilos had seven points and seven rebounds and hurt his knee during the crucial stretch.

With the season hanging in the balance, Batangas City fights for life on Saturday in Game 2 of their series at home.

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