Defending champion Davao Occidental pulled off a thrilling 88-85 decision over hard-fighting Boracay in the opening match of the Pilipinas Super League Pro Division Second Conference Dumper Cup late Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Proving steadier in the stretches that mattered, Tigers guard Kyt Jimenez canned two free throws off an unsportsmanlike foul on the Islanders forward KG Cañaleta and followed it up with a clutch jumper that pegged an 86-83 count in the final 1:26 after Boracay briefly took an 83-82 lead on a Johnsherick Estrada layup.
Larry Rodriguez’s basket padded Davao’s lead to 88-83 in the ensuing play that took the fight out of Boracay with only 54.6 seconds left.
Keith Agovida wound up with a double-double of 25 points and 14 rebounds to lead the Tigers, while Bonbon Custodio chipped in 17 markers, four boards, six assists, and two steals.
In the other game, Sta. Rosa Laguna ripped Cagayan De Oro-PSP, 100-62, behind a more balanced attack.
Mon Rogado scattered 17 points, grabbed two rebounds, and issued five assists for the Lions, while Enzo Joson added 16 markers, four boards, and three assists.
Mark Yee, Marvin Lee, and Troy Malilin also had 12 points each for Sta. Rosa.
Dariel Bayla and Alexander Mohammad carried the fight for Cagayan De Oro with 16 points apiece.
John Wilson also finished with 16 points, four caroms, two dimes, and two steals and Rodriguez had 14 and three as Davao launched its drive for a second straight crown.
Estrada paced the Islanders with 18 points and four rebounds, while former PBA stars Cañaleta and Mac Cardona got 17 and 14 markers, respectively.