MANILA, Philippines—Philip Paniamogan played a career game to help Air21-JRU pull the rug from under Cagayan Valley, 103-100, in overtime in the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup Tuesday at the Emilio Aguinaldo College gym.
Paniamogan, a seldom-used guard, broke through with 26 points, including a triple that forged overtime with both teams tied at 94.
“I told them don’t play their game, we were up 24, we tend to go on our own, one on one kaya nakahabol Cagayan,” said JRU head coach Vergel Meneses.
“Malakas ang Cagayan nagkataon na maganda ang nilaro ng mga boys, they moved the ball around unlike our last two games na nagkakaniya-kaniya,” Meneses added.
The Heavy Bombers squandered two huge leads in two separate occasions, the last one, a 19-point advantage, 81-62, with only 8:07 left.
“We relaxed on defense. Sabi ko sa kanila defense will win us games. We still have a chance, let’s start it now.”
JRU pulled a key stop at the end of regulation, holding its ground to force a miss from Eliud Poligrates.
Poligrates had another chance to knot the count at 102 but misfired on a leaner after getting his own miss off his second free throw with under 10 seconds left.
Dexter Maiquez made one-of-two at the line to set the final tally as the Rising Suns, sans a timeout left and with 3.6 ticks left, had to throw an outlet pass that was stolen as time expired.
Cagayan, which suffered its second straight setback to slip into fourth place at 4-3, outscored JRU, 34-17, in the fourth period and 28-8 in a span of seven minutes to take a 90-89 edge on a free throw by Adrian Celada with 1:36 remaining in regulation.
Chris Exciminiano and Poligrates combined for 26 points in the fourth quarter alone, 16 from the former Far Eastern University guard.
The Suns, who lead the league in rebounds, got out-rebounded, 44-48, as top rebounder Raymond Almazan got ejected at the 5:16 mark of the second period after getting slapped with a technical foul for continuous complaining before a flagrant foul penalty 1.
The Bombers breathed life to their flat-lining quarterfinals bid with their second win in six stints.