PBA D-League: Diminutive Cruz comes up big for Cagayan


MANILA, Philippines — Cagayan Valley weathered a late storm by Cafe France to score a 73-67 win behind the heroics of Mark Cruz Tuesday in the PBA D-League Foundation Cup at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.

Cruz, the five-foot-five point guard, only had six points but four of which came in the final 1:41 that doused a scorching comeback by the Bakers, who came back from 21 down.

Cafe France, which trailed, 46-25, at one point, pulled to within one, 67-68, on a booming triple by Mike Silungan with 1:59 left.

Fortunately for the Rising Suns, Cruz, who is expected to be among the leaders of Letran in the coming NCAA Season with the departure Kevin Alas, got their back down the stretch.

Cruz answered Silungan’s basket with a pull-up jumper 18 seconds after before sealing the Suns’ sixth win in 10 games with another bucket with only 33 ticks left.

Joshua Webb scored 20 points for Cagayan, which bolstered its chances to for a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals.

Silungan led Cafe France, which fell to 5-5 and is in danger of missing the playoffs, with 16 points but was the only Baker in double-digit scoring.

The scores:

Cagayan Valley 73 – Webb 20, Lao 11, Mercader 9, Melano 8, Celada 8, Cruz 6, Poligrates 5, Eximiniano 4, CAnta 2, Jamito 0, Bringas 0.

Café France 67 – Silungan 16, Magbitang 8, Magat 8, Batino 6, Parala 6, Rogado 5, Cornejo 5, Maconocido 5, Gallarado 4, Knuttel 2, Abundo 2, Lopez 0.

Quarters: 24-11; 48-31; 57-44, 73-67

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