BASILAN shut down Bicol late to pull off the 94-83 victory to raise the curtain on the 2020 Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) Lakan Cup on Wednesday night at Mall of Asia Arena.
Jhaps Bautista scored on a baseline drive before Jessie Collado followed up with a big right corner three to help the Steel fend off the challenge from the newcomer Volcanoes and score the first win of the new season.
Collado dropped a double-double with his 16 points and 10 rebounds, while Gab Dagangon came off the bench and wound up with 15 points, six boards, and two assists for the Steel.
Cris Dumapig also got himself a double-double with his 13 points and 10 rebounds, while Leo Gabo added 10 in the breakthrough victory.
"Not to say na disappointed because a win's a win, pero kailangan ma-sustain namin yung effort namin from first to fourth quarter. We're gonna get better from this," said Basilan coach Jerson Cabiltes.
Basilan went on a 12-2 run midway through the fourth quarter to turn a tight 75-73 affair into an 87-75 spread with 2:28 remaining.
Alex Nuyles topscored for the Volcanoes with 23 points, five rebounds, three steals, and two assists, while Alwin Alday scored 10 of his 21 points in the payoff period to bring Bicol within six, 87-81, with 1:33 left.
BASILAN 94 - Collado 16, Dagangon 15, Gabo 13, Dumapig 13, Bautista 8, Palencia 8, Hallare 6, Bringas 5, Daa 4, Alanes 3, Sorela 2, Balucanag 1, Ng 0, Trinidad 0.
BICOL 83 - Nuyles 22, Alday 21, Buenafe 15, Lalata 7, Milagrosa 6, Mondragon 5, Guerrero 0, Ongteco 2, Gusi 2, Alfonso 1, Manalang 0, Gandol 0, Garcia 0.
Quarters: 25-22, 55-42, 69-65, 94-83.