THE Kapatagan Buffalos broke into the win column as they thwarted the Iligan Archangels, 82-78, in the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup Mindanao Challenge on Thursday night at the Pagadian City Gymnasium.
Former University of the Visayas star Gayford Rodriguez scored the tiebreaking basket and then added a free throw to give Kapatagan an 81-78 lead with 10.7 seconds left in the ballgame.
Iligan’s Eugene Torres attempted to get a three-pointer off but was blocked by Richard Kwong. Garexx Puerto then made one of his two free throws to secure the win for the Buffalos, which improved their win-loss record to 1-2.
It was a fantastic win by Kapatagan, which trailed by 12, before recovering late in the third with a 13-4 run capped off by Mark Daanoy’s buzzer-beater that trimmed their deficit to just three, 64-67.
“Credit goes to my players; they didn’t give up,” said Buffalos head coach Jaime Rivera. “I told them the game was far from over and to just focus on defense play after play.”
Jonel Bonganciso and Rodriguez both delivered double-doubles in points and rebounds for Kapatagan, 14-14 and 14-10, respectively. Daanoy and Edrian Lao chipped in 13 points apiece while JR Saga and Puerto combined for 21.
Iligan slid to 1-3. Jack Hoyohoy led the Archangels anew with 17 points and four rebounds, while Arche Salo filled the stat sheet with 14 points, eight assists, four rebounds and five steals.