DAVAO – Billy Robles and Mark Yee, two ex-pros who became the missing links for the Davao Occidental Tigers in the series opener, struck back with big games Saturday night to power their team to a 67-60 bounce back victory over the San Juan Knights in Game 2 of their best-of-five series for the National Championship of the MPBL Datu Cup at the Rizal Memorial College Gym here.
Robles scattered 17 points, including 12 in the second half. Known as the Ilonggo Superman, he was able to keep the rallying Knights at bay with his timely baskets.
Yee, on the other hand, came alive from a subpar game in Game 1.
One of the leading candidates for the MVP, Yee finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds as his 20th double-double in the tournament put him alongside Jhaymo Eguilos and Harold Arboleda for the feat.
Yee also added four blocks, including a crucial one in the dying seconds of the game that defused the Knights’ hopes of completing a comeback.
“Nag-adjust kami sa depensa tsaka sa rebounding,” said Yee.
Robles, on the other hand, likes the team’s chances better even if the series shifts to San Juan for Games 3 and 4. Game 3 will be played on Tuesday at the Filoil Flying V Centre before the league takes a break for the Holy Week. Game 4 will resume at the same venue on April 22.
“Siguro kaya pa naming makakuha ng isa sa San Juan, para bumalik yung series dito sa home court namin,” added Robles.
But Davao Occidental’s defense proved to be a key figure in its latest win as it held San Juan to just 34-percent shooting from the field (23-of-67) and limited the team’s big guns – Mac Cardona and John Wilson to a combined 12 markers.