MANILA, Philippines—Pari Llagas came up with the game-tying bucket at the end of regulation as Blackwater took control from there to edge Cagayan Valley, 89-85, Tuesday in the PBA D-League Foundation Cup at the Arena in San Juan.
Uncovered, Llagas made an easy basket off a nice find by Justin Chua to beat the buzzer and force extra session with both teams tied at 85.
“Pari Llagas made the big difference. He worked hard, he was the legitimate big man who made easy points for us,” said Blackwater head coach Leo Isaac.
Llagas, the former University of the East standout, missed just one of his nine field goal attempts and also grabbed eight rebounds and blocked a shot to help the Elite go 2-0.
The Rising Suns came out firing in the first half as they led by as much as 19, 34-15, on a triple by James Forrester.
“Naunahan kami, yung dalawang UST (players) ko si Ferrer at Vigil may exam sa school. Si James Mangahas naman hindi talaga makakalaro. So sabi ko lang laro lang tayo. Let’s just keep the game close. Nag-adjust kami to a zone defense.”
Allan Mangahas, who is doing a good job so far as the starting point guard with the departure of Jeric Fortuna, kept Cagayan from pulling away further with 11 of his game-high 24 points coming in the second period.
Mangahas continued his stellar play in overtime as he came up with the dagger basket-a jumper-that set the final count with 59.3 seconds left.
“Overtime we took control. Si Allan medyo nagstep up, siguro na-realize niya rin na pwede naman talaga siyang mag-point guard,” Isaac added.
Mark Cruz, who put the Suns up, 82-77, with only 26.9 ticks remaining in regulation, scored on a jumper over Chua to knot the match at 85 at the 3:00 mark of overtime.
Llagas broke the tie with another basket inside off an assist from Louie Vigil as Cagayan mightily struggled offensively.
Down four, Adrian Celada got blocked by Kevin Ferrer on a three-point attempt then missed another one after Eliud Poligrates also misfired from long range in one possession.
Donned in their school uniforms, Ferrer and Vigil rushed into their dugout with their team down big early in the second period.
The Elite needed their efforts to claw back with Ferrer tallying 10 points while Vigil, despite not making a point, had a rebound, two key assists and a block in nine minutes.