PBA D-League: Cafe France scrapes past Informatics in OTBy Mark Giongco
MANILA, Philippines—Cafe France ironed out the kinks defensively late to rally past Informatics, 84-77, in overtime Tuesday in the PBA D-League Foundation Cup at the Arena in San Juan.
The Bakers clamped down on defense to erase an 11-point deficit and extend the game into overtime.
“Nag-fullcourt press kami and napagod ang Informatics,” said Cafe France head coach Egay Macaraya.
The Bakers, who snapped a five-game losing skid dating back to last conference, trailed by as much as 17 in the second quarter and 45-56 heading into the fourth period before outscoring their opponent, 39-21, in the final 15 minutes of the game.
“The moment the lead went down to single digits we knew we had the chance,” added Macaraya. ”Kulang pa kami sa jelling pero credit to the boys they didn’t give up.”
Jens Knuttel had an all-around game with 14 points, five rebounds and eight assists, including a dish to John Magbitang, who hit a wide open 15-foot jumper with 19.3 seconds remaining that forced extra session with both squads knotted at 66.
Mike Parala came alive late to finish with 14 points and 15 rebounds while fellow big Marion Magat added 15 points, including a three-point play that put the Bakers on top by 10, 80-70, with only 1:28 left.
Raymond Maconocido had a team-high 16 points, eight in overtime, on top of five rebounds and five assists.
Cafe France had its first taste of the lead after Maconocido made a turnaround jumper to open up overtime, 68-66, with 4:33 left and start a 9-0 Bakers run.
Jeric Teng, who missed a short well-contested attempt that would’ve won the game for the Icons in regulation, made back-to-back threes in overtime followed by a basket by Jam Cortes to cut the Bakers lead down to five, 80-75, with 54.6 seconds left.
Informatics though, flubbed a defensive assignment that freed up Magat inside for an easy two-handed dunk that sealed Cafe France’s win, 82-77, with 53.5 ticks remaining.
Teng paced the Icons with 22 points while Cortes notched a double-double with 15 points and 17 rebounds.