Cebuana Lhuiller bludgeons Erase Xfoliant 92-74By Celest R. Flores
MANILA, Philippines — Cebuana Lhuiller rained treys in the second half to come back and rout Erase Xfoliant 92-74 Thursday in the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup at the Trinity University Gym in Quezon City.
The Gems, doomed by inconsistency early in the conference, made the Xfoliants feel the brunt of their attack as they sizzled with 10 treys in the second half.
From a 33-45 deficit at halftime, returning Paul Sanga sparked Cebuana Lhuiller’s explosion with three treys before Jopher Custodio just went off.
Custodio scored all but two of the Gems’ last 15 points in the third quarter built around three treys, then added three more in the payoff period.
The hot-shooting forward made sure Cebuana, which went down by as big as 14 in the first half, remained in cruise control of the match with a 21-point lead — its biggest of the game.
“This is the shooting percentage we’ve been looking for from our guys like James Mangahas, Paul Sanga and Custodio,” said head coach Beaujing Acot. “We were lucky sabay sabay sila pumutok.”
Custodio finished with 25 points, seven rebounds and two assists, while the Gems’ big men provided big boosts with a combined 27 points from June Dizon and Raymond Aguilar.
“We know our big man can really take care of our interior,” said Acot of his frontline.
Jett Vidal had 1 point, Marlon Gomez 15 and Nate Matute 11 as the Xfoliants lost their second straight and fourth overall (2-4).
Vidal tried to half the Gems’ momentum with a trey two minutes into the second half, but that was the last they would connect from downtown.
Erase scored just seven measly points while allowing their opponents to sizzle with 33 in the game-changing third period.