Zamboanga Sibugay Warriors lean on 2 Cesafi MVPs to beat Roxas Vanguards in overtime
CEBU CITY, Philippines— The Zamboanga Sibugay Anak Mindanao Warriors relied on two Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (Cesafi) MVPs to clinch their sixth victory in the ongoing Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup Mindanao Challenge, Sunday at the Pagadian City Gymnasium on Sunday evening, December 5.
The Warriors defeated the Roxas Vanguards in overtime, 91-89, behind the heroics of 2019 Cesafi men’s basketball finals MVP Shaquille Imperial.
Imperial finished with 20 points, eight rebounds, six assists and a staggering six blocks. It included the clutch block against Cyrus Tabi’s three-point attempt at the left corner which sealed their victory.
Imperial played for the Southwestern University-Phinma Cobras.
Fellow Cebuano, Jaybie Mantilla who earned the MVP honors in Cesafi in 2017 after playing with the University of San Jose-Recoletos Jaguars scored 19 points where 16 of it tallied in the fourth period along with five rebounds for the Warriors.
In the Visayas leg of the VisMin Cup, Mantilla suited up for Dumaguete Warriors while Imperial played for the Visayas leg champions, the KCS Mandaue.
Aside from their six wins the Warriors also have four defeats and are now at second place behind Globalport-MisOr Valientes with a 6-3 (win-loss) slate. The Warriors are ahead of the BYB Kapatagan Buffalos who are at third with a 5-3 (win-loss) card.
During the thrilling game, Embons Bonleon and Wawa Templo pulled the Vanguards closer, 87-91, by splitting both their free throws with less than a minute to go in overtime.
After a series of empty possessions on both ends, Roxas sent Imperial to the free throw line and missed both his shots, but eventually redeemed himself with the huge block against Tabi.
“Ang game plan namin sa defense all switch talaga kami. Maganda ‘yung kuha ni Shaq, maganda ‘yung angle niya kaya na-block niya,” Anak Mindanao Warriors head coach Arnold Oliveros said.’
(Our game plan on defense is really to all switch. Shaq marked his man well and his angle was good so he blocked the shot.)
Another Cebuano Rhaffy Octobre and teammate Joco Tayongtong each scored 11 points for the Warriors.
James Martinez and Nick Abanto delivered 15 points apiece for the Vanguards while Bonleon added 14 points, 10 rebounds, and four assists.
Both teams will play against the bottom-ranked Iligan City Archangels (2-7). Roxas face the Archangels on Tuesday at 4 p.m. while Zamboanga Sibugay on Wednesday at 4 p.m. as well.
Zamboanga Sibugay 91 – Imperial 20, Mantilla 19, Tayongtong 11, Octobre 11, Camacho 10, Sorela 7, Gayosa 6, Arong 3, Bangcoyan 2, Dumapig 2, Acain 0, Pasia 0, Albrecht 0.
Roxas 89 – Martinez 15, Abanto 15, Bonleon 14, Monte 13, Segura 9, Templo 8, Dela Cruz 6, Tabi 5, Mabigat 3, Valin 1, Basco 0.
Quarterscores: 16-26, 40-42, 63-63, 83-83, 91-89.
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