Cagayan nips Informatics to snap skid in PBA D-League openerBy Mark Giongco
MANILA, Philippines—Cagayan finally barged into the win column following an 89-85 squeaker over newcomer Informatics Tuesday in the opener of the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup at the San Juan Arena.
The Rising Suns ended their nine-game slide dating back to last season.
“I’m very happy with the win. Finally we were able to win this conference,” said Cagayan head coach Alvin Pua, who once played for San Sebastian in the NCAA.
But it wasn’t easy as the game went down-the-wire with the Rising Suns needing to hold off a late-game push by the Icons.
Cagayan had a chance to seal the game but instead Edrian Lao committed an offensive foul on a drive attempt with 18.6 seconds left.
Fortunately for the Rising Suns, Carl Bryan Cruz turned the ball over that resulted to a breakaway layup by James Forrester that clinched the game.
Former Far Eastern U defensive stopper Chris Exciminiano led Cagayan with 20 points while Forrester, the Arellano U swingman, added 15 points, five rebounds and seven assists.
“Sabi ko lang sa kanya (Forrester) be aggressive and be tough. Just play your game.”
Informatics drew a game-high 27 points from Moncrief Rogado.
Rogado though, cramped up with still three minutes left and did not return.
Marvin Hayes also gave the Icons a lift with 22 points, five-of-five from long range, on top of 12 rebounds and two blocks.
Lao put his team ahead, 87-80, with 1:16 left before Informatics came to within two, 85-87, on a three by Roser Mangahas with 29.7 seconds remaining.