Ferocious on both ends of the floor, the Cagayan Valley Rising Suns kept their hopes for an outright semifinal berth alive with a surprisingly easy 77-59 triumph over Big Chill yesterday in the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup at Arellano Gym.
Eliud Poligrates tallied a game-high 19 points while Adrian Celada, returning to the same gym where he honed his game in college, fired 15, including back-to-back triples midway in the fourth period that helped propel the Rising Suns to their fifth win in eight outings and to tie their victims at third spot.
It was a stunning victory for the Rising Suns, who clamped down on the Superchargers in the final period, while Poligrates and Celada found their stride. More importantly, the Rising Suns remained a strong contender for the second outright semifinal bonus, just half a game behind Blackwater Sports.
Later, Boracay Rum, leaning on a balanced offensive, whipped Erase Xfoliant, 82-61.
Jeff Viernes finished with 14 points to lead five other players in double figures as the Waves notched only their third win in eight games, while dealing Erase XFoliant a sixth loss.
“We have an opportunity to get there (semifinal), so why not go for it,” said Cagayan coach Alvin Pua, whose team held Big Chill to its lowest production so far in the conference.
Celada helped the Rising Suns pull away in the final period with back-to-back triples that pushed the lead to 69-53 with five minutes left.
CAGAYAN VALLEY 77—Poligrates 19, Celada 15, Forrester 14, Webb 10, Bringas 9, Eximiniano 5, Chong 3, Almazan 2, Cruz 0, Gusi 0, Villanil 0, Dela Cruz 0.
BIG CHILL 59—Brondial 14, Bringas 10, Romeo 7, Montilla 7, Nuyles 6, Buenafe 5, Collado 4, Villahermosa 3, Santos 3, Canlas 0, Cortes 0, Semira 0, Lozada 0.
Quarters: 21-15, 33-30, 50-47, 77-59
BORACAY RUM 82—Viernes 14, Siruma 13, Sabellina 12, Acibar 10, Cabrera 10, Ilagan 10, Taha 4, Arellano 3, De Guzman 3, Eguillos 3, Umali 0, Monteclaro 0.
ERASE XFOLIANT 61—Vidal 14, Gomez 11, Matute 10, Belorio 7, Racal 6, Babayemi 4, Acidre 4, Najorda 3, Arboleda 2, Stevens 0.
Quarters: 23-17, 45-36, 67-53, 82-61