Rising Suns nip Gems; Bakers turn back Icons
Chris Exciminiano and James Forrester came through the clutch as Cagayan Valley nipped the favored Cebuana Lhuillier, 86-82, to claim solo third in the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup yesterday at JCSGO Gym.
Exciminiano fired a game-high 24 points, the last three inside the final 13 seconds, to lift the Rising Suns to their fourth triumph in five outings.
Forrester also had 17 markers, including an eight-foot jumper that pushed the Rising Suns ahead, 83-82, going into the final 83 seconds.
In the second game, Café France downed winless newcomer Informatics, 78-66, to join the Gems in a share of fifth at 3-2.
Michael Parala missed only once in 10 attempts from the field to power the Bakers with 20 points, while Gryann Mendoza added 11 markers.
The Gems, who had two costly turnovers in the endgame, still had a chance to tie the game but forward Raymund Aguilar missed two free throws with 9.6 seconds remaining.
Cagayan coach Alvin Pua said, however, that the Rising Suns still have to work on their consistency to stay within striking distance from unbeaten league leaders NLEX (5-0) and Big Chill (4-0)
“We had a good start, but like our past games, the players tend to relax when we get a big lead,” said Pua.
The Icons remained winless in five outings.
CAGAYAN VALLEY 86—Exciminiano 24, Forrester 17, Melano 15, Bringas 8, Poligrates 6, Gusi 5, Almazan 5, Celeda 4, Lao 2, Cruz 0, Bartolo 0, Webb 0.
CEBUANA LHUILLIER 82—Aguilar 20, Zamar 14, Buensuceso 9, Tagarda 6, Custodio 6, Bautista 6, Mabayo 5, Dizon 5, Mangahas 4, Sarangay 4, Leynes 3, Banal 0, Rowe 0, Suguitan 0.
Quarters: 19-16, 38-38, 60-63, 86-82
CAFE FRANCE 78—Parala 20, Mendoza 11, Knuttel 10, Magat 10, Pogoy 9, Padilla 8, Alas 6, Lopez 4, Jamon 0, Magbitang 0.
INFORMATICS 66—Cruz 23, Mangahas 13, Hayes 9, Del Rosario 6, Rogado 4, Melegrito 4, Carlos 2, Bautista 2, Benitez 2, Sanghera 1, Acura 0, Montuano 0.
Quarters: 17-18, 34-28, 49-47, 78-66
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