Gems turn back Bombers, clinch last q’final spot
New recruit James Martinez shone in the last quarter as Cebuana Lhuillier rolled back Jose Rizal University, 77-73, to nail the last quarterfinal berth of the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup yesterday at Ynares Sports Arena.
Martinez, who only joined the Gems last month, drilled nine of his 16 points in the final quarter as the Cebu-based squad came from 10 points down, 45-55, to spoil the Bombers’ bid for a twice-to-beat quarterfinal bonus.
“James Martinez is really a leader that’s why I took him because I know he can make good decisions,” said Cebuana coach Beaujing Acot.
Cebuana, JRU and idle Fruitas all finished their elimination campaign with similar 5-5 records, but the Shakers got the boot after the quotient tiebreak.
In the second game, No. 2 Blackwater Sports nipped the eliminated Erase Xfoliant, 82-76, to wrap up its elimination run with an 8-2 record.
Benefiting from JRU’s loss was Big Chill, which claimed the last twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinal round starting Tuesday.
CEBUANA LHUILLIER 77—Martinez 16, Mangahas 10, Sanga 9, Leynes 9, Bustos 8, Banal 7, Zamar 7, Aguilar 4, Dizon 4, Buensuceso 2, Rowe 1, Custodio 0, Bautista 0, Sarangay 0.
JRU-AIR21 73—Maiquez 17, Apinan 12, Pinto 10, Paniamogan 8, Ighalo 6, Miranda 6, Mabulac 5, Del Rio 4, Mirza 2, Caperal 2, Villarias 1, Almario 0.
Quarters: 20-19, 34-38, 47-55, 77-73
BLACKWATER SPORTS 82—Mangahas 14, Ferrer 13, Vigil 10, Ciriacruz G. 9, Mazo 7, Llagas 6, Fortuna 6, Abdul 5, Chua 4, Pe 4, Celiz 4, Bagatsing 0, Lo 0, Ciriacruz I. 0.
ERASE XFOLIANT 76—Racal 26, Vidal 14, Najorda 13, Allen 10, Corpuz 9, Bartolo 4, Luib 0, Acidre 0, Stevens 0.
Quarters: 17-16, 38-45, 63-60, 82-76
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