By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
The Davao Occidental Tigers made sure there will be no Allyn Bulanadi magic this time.
Bonbon Custodio showed flashes of his old self as he led Davao to an 81-76 win against the hot Basilan Steel-Jumbo Plastic in their South Division finals clash.
With 56.2 ticks left in the final frame, Custodio sized up his defender and fired a jumper that kissed off the glass and through the net to put the Tigers ahead, 79-76.
Basilan steel had the chance to deadlock the game off a designed play for Bulanadi but the shot did not connect, forcing Basilan to foul Mark Yee who sank both of his free throws to come away with the win.
Custodio finished the game with eight points, five rebounds, three assists, and two steals, while co-guard Emman Calo chipped in 17 points, eight rebounds, three dimes, and three interceptions.
Davao was down nine points entering the fourth and looked to be run over by the fiery Basilan squad led by an unconscious Jhaps Bautista who had an efficient outing.
However, Davao slowed down the pace as they looked to dump the ball to Yee and Custodio and rely on their veteran expertise.
Custodio came in and answered the call in the middle of the fourth, as he scored six of his eight points in the period, including crucial boards that led to Davao scoring.
Both teams will try to advance to the MBPL Lakan finals on March 14, 2020, in the South Division do-or-die finals.