THE Pagadian Explorers outlasted the MFT Iligan Archangels, 83-70, in the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup Mindanao Challenge on Saturday at the Pagadian City Gymnasium.
Already ahead by eight at the break, the Explorers turned on their defense against the Archangels in the third period, limiting them to just 10 while making 16 points to bring a 14-point lead heading into the fourth, 62-48.
Down by as much as 16 in the fourth, Iligan came back to within six after a layup by Jack Hoyohoy, 65-71, with 3:11 to go. But Christian Uri, Charles Pepito, and Edzel Mag-isa connived for a 7-2 blast to restore order, 78-67, with just 1:37 left.
Uri had his best game for the Explorers with 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting, while Keanu Caballero also got 14 points and five assists.
Orvelle Saludsod was instant offense for Pagadian, scoring 11 points in just nine minutes of play.
The Vanguards improved to 4-5, leapfrogging Basilan for fifth.
Mag-isa was also big in the win, going for 11 points, six rebounds, and six steals.
Jack Hoyohoy and Algeroh Benitez both finished with 12 points for the 2-7 Archangels with the former adding 10 rebounds.