The Pagadian Explorers swung the upset axe hard on the JPS Zamboanga City as they defeated the powerhouse squad, 82-68, in the 2021 Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup, Tuesday at the Ipil Provincial Gymnasium in Zamboanga Sibugay.
It was a hard-fought win for the Explorers which led by as much as 13 but suddenly encountered trouble down the stretch when JPS trimmed their lead down to three with 3:54 left in the game. However, Pagadian found a savior in Rich Guinitaran who scored eight straight points to lift their lead back to 11 with time down to just 1:51.
"What do you expect? Si Rich isa sa mga main man ko yan. Rich is a very versatile player and anytime pwede pumutok sa labas yan," said Explorers head coach Harold Sta. Cruz.
Guinitaran finished with 26 points on a hot 8-of-10 shooting clip, including 5-of-6 from behind the arc. He also had five rebounds and five assists as the Explorers bumped their win-loss record to 2-0. Keanu Caballero almost had a triple-double with 10 markers, seven rebounds, and seven assists.
Big men Gabby Espinas and Jerwin Gaco paced JPS with 14 and 11 points, respectively, with the latter adding 11 rebounds.
Playmaker Fran Yu did not play for Zamboanga due to a stiff neck, while Gino Jumao-as appeared to hurt his right knee after a collision down low at the 1:57 mark of the first quarter. He did not return to the game.
Pagadian 82 - Guinitaran 26, Caballero 10, Benitez 8, Dechos 8, Serrano 7, Saludsod 5, Pamaran 5, Demigaya 4, Acaylar 4, Singedas 2, Villaver 2, Manalo 1, Bolotaolo 0, Quimado 0, Bautista 0.
Zamboanga City 68 - Espinas 14, Gaco 11, Belencion 9, Cardona 8, Lingganay 7, Salim 5, Matias 5, Jeruta 3, Neypes 2, Waminal 0, Ferrer 0.
Quarterscores: 20-16, 43-37, 61-54, 82-68.(JNP)