PBA D-League: Fruitas back on winning track after nipping Big ChillBy Celest R. Flores
MANILA, Philippines — Carlo Lastimosa unleashed 16 of his 24 in the second half as Fruitas wrestled the lead for good en route to a 83-75 win over Big Chill Thursday in the 2013 PBA D-League Foundation Cup at the Ynares Sports Arena.
The Shakers, who bounced back from a loss to Cagayan last week, went on an 8-0 run capped by a bucket by Lastimosa to regain the lead early with 7:14 left and never looked back from there.
“We’re just looking at it one game at a time,” said head coach Nash Racela as his squad regained the second spot with a 4-1 record. “We’re still not in the playoffs.”
The FEU-based squad, though, is in a more stable position this conference compared to the last with the Tamaraws bringing cohesion and adding firepower.
FEU standout Carl Bryan Cruz added 11 points for Fruitas, including two crucial treys which allowed the Shakers to break the game wide-open. Gryann Mendoza also had 11.
A floater from Jan Colina gave the Shakers a 77-60 lead, the biggest of the game, with 3:49 left, which was enough cushion to survive a comeback from the Superchargers.
Led by swingman Alex Nuyles, Big Chill cut the lead 73-80 with 58.1 seconds to go as the Superchargers tightened their defense and rattled the Shakers
But freethrows from veteran guard Pong Escobal, who added eight points, six rebounds and four assists, secured the win for Fruitas.
The Superchargers were without prolific scorer Terrence Romeo, who had an agreement with Fruitas-FEU to sit it out the game.
Mac Montilla picked up the slack and finished with 16 points, while Arvie Bringas and Alex Nuyles had 14 each for Big Chill, which dropped to 3-3.