MANILA, Philippines—Fruitas head coach Nash Racela believes it’s only a matter of time before Informatics notches its first win in the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup.
Just not today, though, as the Shakers beat the Icons, 85-74, Tuesday for their third straight win at the JCSGO Gym in Cubao, Quezon City.
“I really believe this team (Informaticss) is due for a win,” said Racela.
“Obviously in the first half we were struggling. Good thing my players lived up the physicality,” he added.
Carlo Lastimosa led the Shakers with 23 points, despite going scoreless in the first quarter.
Informatics rallied from 11 points down to cut the deficit to one, 64-65, on a steal and finish by Gerald Bautista with 9:50 left.
Fruitas regrouped and found ways to crack Informatics’ defense. Lastimosa sank a basket that pushed his team’s lead back to double digits, 80-70, nearing the final minute.
“The players stepped up. It’s a good preparation for the coming games.”
Ola Adeogun, Pong Escobal and Anjo Caram added 11 points each to also help the Shakers go above .500 at 4-3.
Adeogun also made his presence felt on the glass as he hauled down 21 rebounds, 10 of which were on the offensive.
Mark Benitez had 19 points while Moncrief Rogado added 16 for the Icons, who suffered their eighth loss in as many games.
Rogado nailed the triple as Informatics threatened to come back but Escobal answered on the other end, 82-73, with 1:33 remaining.