DAVAO Occidental coach Don Dulay lauded Joseph Terso for his steady play that helped the Tigers claim the MPBL Lakan Cup title.
The Tigers wasted a big lead, but Terso saved the day by hitting the tying free throws with 24.4 seconds left in regulation. Davao Occidental ended up winning, 89-88, in overtime in Game Four, taking the series 3-1.
“I’ve been pushing him to be aggressive all series,” said Dulay.
“We had that relationship where he knows I need him and he came through, he came big not only offensively but defensively. He’s really smart on both ends.”
It was a huge victory for Davao Occidental, especially against the team that beat them in their first shot at the MPBL title two years ago.
“Ayaw ko na paabutin ng Game Five kasi baka maulit na naman yung nangyari nung nakaraan. Binuhos ko na talaga lahat ngayon,” said Terso.
“Sobrang saya! Payback!”
The Tigers finished the eliminations as the top seed of the South division with a 24-6 win-loss record, winning 10 of their last 11 games before the playoffs.
Davao Occidental needed three games to eliminate No. 8 seed Bicol Volcanoes in the quarterfinals before sweeping Zamboanga in the semifinals.
The Tigers again faced a deciding match in the division finals, before getting an easy route to the national finals against San Juan when Basilan lost by default after several players tested positive for COVID-19.
“Payback. It’s so much sweeter because we got it back from San Juan. We were so close last time and it was heartbreaking as an organization,” said Don Dulay.