MANILA, Philippines— Café France frustrated Big Chill for an 80-75 win, but had to go through a wringer first in the 2013 PBA D-League Foundation Cup at the San Juan Arena on Monday.
The Bakers, who led by as much as 20 points in the first period, had to endure a fightback by Big Chill but got the necessary breaks in the end for a 3-1 record.
Jens Knuttel and Alvin Abundo accounted for Café France ‘s last four points, all coming from the stripe, making Big Chill pay for its technical fouls down the stretch.
With 3:04 left to play, Knuttel connected on a freebie for a 78-71, off a technical from Terrence Romeo.
The Superchargers, though, managed to cut through the Bakers’ lead, 75-78, with under a minute to go but Romeo missed a contested 3-point attempt with five seconds left on the shotclock.
Mar Villahermosa was whistled for a looseball foul with 10.9, which got Big Chill head coach Robert Sison’s goat. He was sent out for incurring two technical fouls.
Abundo, who gives his squad’s back court a good boost, made two of the next three freethrows which pushed Café France out of harm’s way.
“I think nagulat sila sa depensa nung una,” said Café France head mentor Edgar Macaraya, as his squad built a 27-7 lead with 49 seconds left in the first quarter.
Mike Parala, Alfred Batino and Marion Magat scored 15, 14, and 13 points respectively for the Bakers while pulling down at least eight rebounds.
“The sacrifice we made during the Holy Week paid off,” said Macaraya as his boys barely went on a break to prepare for the game.
The Bakers had 24 assists compared to the Superchargers’ 10.
Big Chill, meanwhile, hit another snag, unable to fully take over the game even after countless comeback attempts in the third and fourth quarters. The closest it ever got was within five.
Romeo, playing in only his second game, finished with 23 points for the Superchargers, who sunk to 2-2.