DAVAO Occidental defeated Batangas, 66-51, on Monday night to advance to the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) Datu Cup national finals at the Almendras Gym in Davao City.
The Tigers outscored the Athletics, 16-4, in the first quarter and never looked back to win Game Three before delirious home fans and earn the right to represent the South Division in the finals.
Davao Occidental will play the winner of Game Three of the North Division finals between Manila and San Juan that was being played at posting time.
Ex-pro Mark Yee had 11 points and 12 rebounds to lead the balanced attack of the Tigers, which atoned for their Game Two loss to Batangas, 76-74, in Lipa City.
Jeff Viernes had 24 points for the Rajah Cup champion Athletics, who found the Tigers' 23-point lead too much to overcome.