MINDANAO squads Davao Occidental and Zamboanga drew first blood in the MPBL Datu Cup south semifinals on Wednesday night at the Rizal Memorial College in Davao.
Zamboanga, which last season's runner-up Muntinlupa in the quarterfinals, continued its fine run with a 72-58 win over Raja Cup champion Batangas City.
The Valientes try to finish off the Athletics on Saturday in Batangas.
“Dati kamay lang ang puwede naming kunin. Ngayon, kung buong katawan pwede naming kuhain, gagawin namin,” said Zamboanga coach Raymond Valenzona.
Reed Juntilla and Robin Roño scored 19 points apiece, while Harold Arboleda grabbed 15 rebounds for Zamboanga.
Juntilla scored 10 in the final period.
Davao City scored a 79-71 win over Bacoor.
The try to wrap up the series on Saturday.
Mark Yee produced yet another double-double performance of 21 points, 13 rebounds and also made five assists for Davao.
Bonbon Custodio added 15 markers while Eman Calo contributed 10.
Gab Banal had 32 points, dished out nine assists and grabbed seven rebounds for the Strikers.