MANILA – Basilan pulled off a dominating performance in its highly anticipated debut in the Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup, clobbering Zamboanga Del Sur, 82-48, at the start of the Mindanao leg at the Ipil Provincial Gym on Wednesday.
In its first game since its controversial departure from the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League stemming from coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19)-related concerns that kept the team from playing in the national semifinals, Basilan stomped its class on Zamboanga Del Sur, holding its opponent to just seven points in each of the first two quarters and never looked back from there, even leading by as much as 42 points in the fourth.
The blowout would have not been possible if not for Coach Jerson Cabiltes’ advice to his players to slow things down a bit.
“After nung first quarter, sinabihan ko yung players ko na huwag silang magmadali, focus lang (the first quarter, I told my players not to rush things and just focus),” Cabiltes said.
Michael Mabulac led Basilan with 16 points on 8-of-9 shooting, 11 rebounds, three assists, one block, and two steals.
Hesed Gabo added 14 points, two rebounds, two assists, and one steal off the bench.
Dan Sara paced Zamboanga Del Sur with 17 markers, one rebound, one assist, and two steals.
No Gerald Anderson
Meanwhile, Misamis Oriental will be a man down as its own Mindanao leg quest begins on Thursday.
Head coach Vis Valencia confirmed that Gerald Anderson did not join the team in the closed circuit style tournament due to his commitments as an actor.
“Yung schedule niya (His schedule) has shoots and taping both out of the country and here. He was ready to play and has been working out with us. With the changes though, tinamaan na yung commitments niya (his commitments have been affected),” Valencia said.
The Mindanao leg was originally scheduled to begin on May 20, but it met a number of postponements and even venue changes mainly due to the Covid-19 pandemic before finally beginning on Wednesday.
Valencia bared that Anderson tried to reschedule his showbiz commitments just to join Misamis Oriental, but due to lack of available dates for the rescheduling, he had no choice but to let go of his supposed pro basketball debut.
“Hindi na niya ma-move (He could not move his schedules) any further,” Valencia continued.
Despite the roster setback, Misamis Oriental remains formidable with former Philippine Basketball Association players Reil Cervantes, Mac Baracael, Jayson Ballesteros, Ronjay Buenafe, Joseph Sedurifa, and JR Cawaling leading the way.
Misamis Oriental opens its campaign against Clarin at 3 p.m. Thursday. (PNA)