THE Cebu City Sharks are on the brink of elimination after dropping Game 1 of the South Division quarterfinals of the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) Datu Cup against top seed Davao Occidental Tigers, 82-67, at the Rizal Memorial College Gym in Davao City.
The Tigers totally outclassed the Sharks from the second quarter up until end, thanks to their veterans and former PBA players Mark Yee and Bonbon Custodio.
Cebu City was up ahead after a quarter of action, 18-12 and led by as much as 10 points in the second period but Yee helped sparked a 9-0 run to trim down the Sharks’ lead to just a point, 26-25.
Leo Najorda, another former PBA player, gave Davao the lead, 31-29, after converting both of his free throws with 46 seconds remaining. Custodio split his charities and then Yee scored a layup for a 31-29 lead at halftime.
From then on, Davao was in cruise control to tally a comfortable win after outscoring Cebu City, 48-38, in the second half.
The Sharks badly missed the offense, especially the three-point shooting, of Patrick Cabahug, who’s out with an ankle sprain.
“It (shooting) was one of the factors of our loss. We missed a lot of open shots,” Shark’s head coach Titing Manalili told SunStar Cebu.
The Sharks were 33 percent from the field and just hit two of 25 shots from beyond the arc.
“We have to adjust with our defense and our shooting,” said Manalili.
Yee had a double-double of 20 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Tigers. He was also on target the whole game with a 9-12 shooting clip and was a very good rim protector with four blocks. Custodio added 18 markers, five assists and two steals.
Leo Najorda and Billy Robles had 11 each.
Rhaffy Octobre led the Sharks with 16 points, seven boards and a steal, while William McAloney chipped in 12.
Game 2 is tonight, March 16, at the Lagao Gym in Gen. Santos City. (EKA)