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A group of men in green uniforms participates as Pilipinas Super League opens.

Davao Occidental gets by Roxas as Pilipinas Super League opens

The Davao Occidental Tigers got their title campaign in the Cocolife Pilipinas Super League (PSL) powered by Smart 5G off to a victorious start as they defeated the Roxas Vanguards, 63-59, on Friday night at the Dipolog City Sports Complex.

The Tigers found themselves in trouble early, trailing by as much as 10, 16-26. However, the veteran Davao crew found their bearings and uncorked eight straight points near the end of the first half to trail by just one, 34-35.

The Tigers then made their move in the third as Robby Celiz sparked a breakaway that put them up by 11, 54-43. The Vanguards, though, persevered and pulled to within four, 63-59, with 21.3 seconds left in the match.

The Vanguards got a chance to trim the lead further after the Tigers’ John Wilson, a known steady free-throw shooter throughout his career, missed two charities with 19.9 seconds left. But Jeric Nacpil missed a quick layup and Paulo Hubalde grabbed the rebound to seal the Tigers’ win.

“Noong opening, sabi ni Commissioner Marc (Pingris), ‘Puso!’ So yun lang ang
pinakita ko,” said Celiz, who finished with a double-double of 16 points and 10 rebounds with two assists, one steal, and three blocks.

Eman Calo also had a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds, while Gab Dagangon also put up 12 points.

Former Cesafi MVP Wowie Escosio made 12 points, nine rebounds, and one steal to lead Roxas.

Action will resume on Sunday, March 20, in Roxas, Zamboanga Del Norte with a triple-header featuring the other six teams in the field.

At 2:00 p.m., the Cagayan De Oro Higalas take on the Lapu-Lapu Chiefs – ARQ Builders, the Bicol Spicy Oragons battle the Cagayan Valley Golden Eagles at 4:00 p.m., and the Pagadian Explorers challenge Basilan – BRT at 6:00 p.m.

Explore Sulit!