THE Pagadian Explorers leaned on the three-pointer by Von Dechos with just seconds remaining to lift them past the Roxas Vanguards, 82-80, in overtime of the Mindanao leg of the 2021 Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup on Thursday at the Ipil Provincial Gymnasium in Zamboanga Sibugay.
Down by one, 79-80, after a layup by Roxas’ forward Jordan Sta. Ana with 31 seconds left, Pagadian got the ball to Dechos who rattled in the three-pointer to shove the Explorers in front, 82-80, with just 25 seconds left in the extra session.
Roxas had several chances to either tie the game or even take the lead after Keanu Caballero and Rene Pamaran missed four straight free-throws but the Vanguards were not able to find the basket as time expired to give the Explorers the thrilling win.
Knotted at 68 with 3.5 ticks left in the fourth period, Vanguard JK Casiño threw a triple from the right-wing but to no avail to send the game to extra period.
"Si (Von) Dechos is one of my shooters and he really has the green light to shoot,” said Pagadian head coach Harold Sta. Cruz.
Caballero and John Edros Quimado led Pagadian with 12 points apiece in the game plagued by a power shortage, which lasted for 12 minutes, at the 1:57 mark of the second quarter.
Also chipping in 10 markers each were Dechos, Christian Manalo, and Rich Guinitiran.
Veterans Jhong Bondoc and Leo Najorda both delivered 15 points, but the former fouled out of the game with 40.8 ticks left in the fourth frame.
The Explorers will take on Zamboanga City on Tuesday, 1 p.m. Meanwhile, the Vanguards target their first win on Sunday when they fight Clarin at 3 p.m.
Pagadian 82 - Quimado 12, Caballero K. 12, Guinitaran 10, Manalo 10, Dechos 10, Villaver 8, Serrano 7, Acaylar 5, Saludsod 3, Demigaya 2, Pamaran 2, Benitez 1, Bolotaolo 0, Caballero R. 0, Divas 0.
Roxas 80 - Najorda 15, Bondoc 15, Sta. Ana 14, Reyes 13, Castro 7, Jaime 6, Velasco 2, Elmejrab 2, Camacho 2, Casino 2, Deles 2, Intic 0, Rifarial 0, Templo 0, Pasia 0. (JNP)