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A group of basketball players posing with the PSL Pearl of the Orient Cup banner.

Davao Occidental sweeps Cagayan de Oro to claim PSL Pearl of the Orient Cup title

The Davao Occidental Tigers were crowned the champions of the Cocolife Pilipinas Super League (PSL) Powered By Smart 5G Pearl of the Orient Cup after they took down the Cagayan de Oro (CDO) Higalas, 76-62, in Game Two to complete a 2-0 sweep of the Finals on Monday night at the University of Southeastern Philippines Gym in Davao City.

The Higalas put up one heck of a fight, even briefly taking the lead late in the third canto. But the Tigers just had too much veteran moxie, pulling out all the stops in the fourth to seize control of the match and eventually capture the victory to etch their name in the history books as the very first champion of this league.

Emman Calo—who was named the Finals Most Valuable Player—stuffed the stat sheet with 21 points, eight rebounds, four assists, three steals, and two blocks.

Emman Calo

Mythical Five members Rob Celiz and Gab Dagangon also posted excellent numbers as the former had 15 points and 11 boards, while the latter fired in 14 markers.

Eager to tie the series up, CDO played with force and desperation, erasing a 12-point deficit in the third canto to take the lead, 52-51, after a basket by Richard Kwong. However, Davao Occidental was unfazed and answered with a layup by Keith Agovida, a free-throw by Dagangon and a transition layup by Calo to take a 56-52 lead to the final stanza.

The Higalas kept within striking distance in the final period but the Tigers’ firepower proved overwhelming as Larry Rodriguez canned back-to-back baskets in the paint while Calo and John Wilson sank consecutive triples for a 72-58 Davao Occidental lead.

Aside from the trophy and the prestige of being named the league’s first-ever champion, Davao Occidental also bagged the Php 2,000,000 cash prize.

CDO settled for runner-up honors and the Php 1,000,000 cash prize. Nichole Ubalde led the Higalas with 19 points, eight rebounds, and six steals.

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