Big Chill nails second berth
NLEX pulls off historic sweepBy Cedelf P. Tupas
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Big chill knew it wasn’t just RnW Pacific Pipes that was hoping it faltered yesterday in the PBA D-League Foundation Cup. The Cebuana Lhuillier Gems also showed up at the Treston Gym in Taguig, hoping to watch the Superchargers lose.
But the Superchargers, putting up a solid effort on both ends of the floor, left both teams disappointed as they trounced the Steelmasters, 78-68, to claim the second semifinal slot.
Keith Jensen wound up with 14 points, including late baskets that quelled a Pacific Pipes uprising, while Jessie Collado and Alex Mallari added 13 apiece as the Superchargers finished the elimination round with a 7-2 record.
The Gems also finished with a similar record, but the Superchargers clinched the No. 2 spot because of their 72-68 victory over Cebuana Lhuillier early in the elimination round.
Still, Cebuana Lhuillier will have a twice-to-beat edge in the quarterfinals, where it will meet Cafe France.
“This is just our short-term goal,” said Big Chill coach Robert Sison. “The job is not done yet. Our goal is to win the championship.”
Later, NLEX overpowered Boracay Rum, 72-55, to complete a nine-game sweep.
With coach Boyet Fernandez treating the showdown as a “statement game,” the Road Warriors refused to pull their punches, seizing control early to eliminate the Waves from quarterfinal contention.
NLEX became the first team to post an elimination sweep in league history.
The last quarterfinal berth went to Café France, which wound up tied with Boracay Rum, Erase Plantcenta and Junior Powerade at 3-6 but advanced due to a superior quotient.
BIG CHILL 78—Jensen 14, Collado 13, Mallari 13, Montilla 10, Villahermosa 10, Ponferada 7, Reyes 6, Tan 3, Viernes 2, Cortes 0, Glorioso 0.
PACIFIC PIPES 67—Teng 16, Aguilar 10, Colina 9, Delgado 6, Rogado 4, Bustos 4, Ilagan 4, Acidre 4, Buensuceso 3.
Quarters: 13-14, 43-27, 54-48, 78-67
NLEX 72— Hodge 20, Abueva 18, Lanete 8, Monfort 7, Sanggalang 6,Dehesa 5, Suguitan 3, Long 2, Marcelo 2, Ellis 1, Hermida 0, Co 0.
BORACAY RUM 55—Bandaying 19, Siruma 13, Sabellina 8, Eguillos 4, Rosopa 4, Hermosisima 3, Acibar 2, Abaya 2.
Quarters: 20-11, 42-23, 55-38, 72-55