King Tiger Mark Yee worked doubly hard as his team Davao Occidental Cocolife squeaked past Pasig Sta Lucia Realtors, 75-71, in the second-round elimination of the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Lakan Season Tuesday night at Bahay ng Pag-Asa Gym in Valenzuela City.
Yee, along with big man Bogs Raymundo, nicknamed as the “Long Arm of the Law,” manned the paint effectively on both ends to neutralize the Realtors’ frontliners Jeric Tong, Robbie Manalang and Leo Najorda.
This favored the leading south division team of Dumper Party List Rep. Claudine Bautista of Davao Occidental and backed by Cocolife president Atty. Jose Martin Loon, FVP Joseph Ronquillo, AVP Rowena Asnan and SVP Franz Joie Araque.
The Tigers’ offensive thrusts were fueled by Bonbon Custodio, James Forresto, Billy Robles and Yee as they joined efforts to gain control at halftime 41-31.
The Realtors trimmed Davao’s double-digit lead to just a point at 40-41 the early third canto and even took the lead in the early fourth on a trey by Manalang.
But Yee and Custodio took charge in recovering the Tigers’ momentum en route to their 20th win in 20 games to stay on top of the south division of the league organized by Senator Manny Pacquiao.
“We have to level up our game, especially now that we are approaching the playoffs. Mark (Yee) is a true leader in the court, but our close victory against Pasig is really a team effort,” said Davao Cocolife team manager Dinko Bautista.
Yee, the games’s Best Player, posted his 35th double-double performance in the league with his 22 points and 14 rebounds.
Pasig’s shock troopers, led by Richard Belches, fielded by coach Bong Ramos, fell short in the endgame as they absorbed their ninth setback with 14 wins to show.