DAVAO Occidental Cocolife Tigers bounced back from a sorry loss by venting its ire on host team Marikina, 80-68 in the second phase elimination of the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Datu Cup (MPBL) held at Marist School in Marikina over the weekend.
The Mindanao team owned by Claudine Bautista and backed by Cocolife president Elmo Nobleza, FVP Joseph Ronquillo and AVP Rowena Asnan tightened its grip on the top spot in the south division with 16-4 win-loss record.
Marikina skidded to 7-10 and needs to win in their remaining matches to stay in contention for the next stage..
The Tigers’ offensive weapons -- PBA veteran Leo Najorda, Mark Yee,Billy Robles and Bonbon Custodio -- struck hard as took control of the game in the early going by establishing double-digit advantage in third quarter.
Although the Shoe Masters staged an uprising behind ex-pro Jondan Salvador, the Tigers kept them at bay behind the defense of big man Bogs Raymundo inside the paint and homegrown Emman Calo and Joseph Terso.
Overall, it was the Tigers’ 16th victory in 20 outings.
“Our one-point setback against GenSan motivated us to go all out in this game and my teammates responded very well,” said Tigers leading scorer Najorda.
The victory according to team manager Ray Alao set their focus in making it to the finals and their mission of winning the championship. DS