Zamboanga strikes back against Roxas, sends series to sudden-death match


Zamboanga City forced a do-or-die Game 3 in the 2021 Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup semifinals second phase on Thursday night.

Fifth-ranked JPS ended the game on a 13-0 blast to escape fourth spot Petra Cement-Roxas, 84-71, to take Game 2 at the Pagadian City Gymnasium in Zamboanga del Sur.

The win-or-go-home rubber match is scheduled tomorrow at 5 pm.

The ghost of yesterday’s match, where JPS squandered their 18-point lead and lost in overtime, 84-91, almost haunted Zamboanga City again. But this time, they held on.

Chito Jaime’s triple at the 2:14 mark of the payoff period capped an 18-4 Roxas run to climb all the way back from a 14-point hole and tie things up, 71-71.

However, JPS learned their lesson already. They scored the game’s last 13 points to knot the series at one game apiece.

Things got chippy in the contest with three flagrant fouls penalty 1, and three technical fouls.

One occasion was when Jerwin Gaco fell down on Jordan Sta. Ana’s belly on a rebound play. Emotions flared up as Lester Reyes and Mac Cardona were slapped with technical fouls due to verbal altercation.

Five-foot-10 Fran Yu led the charge for Zamboanga with 16 points, eight rebounds, three steals, and two blocks.

Gabby Espinas chipped in 16 points of his own to go with seven rebounds and two assists, while Jaypee Belencion had 16 points including three conversions from deep.

Aaron Jeruta and Gaco also netted 11 points apiece for JPS.

The bench players of Zamboanga made the difference, outscoring their counterparts 46-21.

James Castro delivered 17 points, four assists, three rebounds, and two steals in the losing cause, but he shot just 5-of-14 from the field. Jhong Bondoc, who played just 14 minutes, tallied 16 points and four rebounds.

After a 19-point performance last night, Leo Najorda was held to just nine points on a 3-of-10 clip. He also had four turnovers.

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