DEFENDING champion Davao Occidental-Cocolife fended off a late charge by Batang Kankaloo-Caloocan for a 67-61 victory—its seventh straight—in the Manila Bankers Life-Pilipinas Super League Pro Division Second Conference Dumper Cup at the Caloocan Sports Complex.
Former Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) big man Larry Rodriguez led the Tigers with 13 points and eight rebounds, while Keith Agovida added nine points, six rebounds and two assists.
The victory was a fitting follow-up to the Tigers’ 81-79 escape over Quezon City last week for a 7-0 won-lost record in the cage wars presented by Winzir and co-presented by SCD Cosmetics and Dumper party-list, and supported by NET 25, Adcon, Wcube Solutions Inc., MDC, Unisol, Don Benitos, and Finn Cotton, with PBA and Gilas Pilipinas great Marc Pingris serving as commissioner.
The Koolers saw their five-game winning streak—including a 107-80 drubbing of Bagong Cabuyao-Homelab Nation last Monda—come to a screeching halt and fell to 5-2, still good for fifth place.
Will Gozum had a successful Pampanga Royce Hotel debut as he helped waylay the Beacons, 72-65, to rise to 6-0 for second spot.
The reigning National Collegiate Athletic Association Most Valuable Player played 12 minutes for seven points and two rebounds.
Former Ateneo Blue Eagle BJ Andrade led the balanced attack for the Sandro Soriano-coached squad with nine points, two steals, two rebounds and two assists.
Nueva Ecija also snapped a three-game losing skid with a thrilling 72-71 escape over erstwhile unscathed Pampanga G Lanterns.
Gabby Espinas paced Caloocan with 22 points, three rebounds and three assists, while Paul Sanga got 12 points and seven rebounds.