PBA hopefuls Poligrates, Knuttel shine in Cafe France’s first win
MANILA, Philippines—PBA rookie hopefuls towed Cafe France to a 70-67 nipping of Cebuana Lhuiller Thursday in the 2013 PBA D-League Aspirants Cup at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
Eliud Poligrates showed his worth anew just three days before the draft, scoring 23 points including two timely triples down the stretch for the Bakers, along with six rebounds and four assists.
With the Gems just a bucket away from tying the match, Poligrates unleashed a triple followed by a fast-break basket with a minute to go which stretched Cafe France’s lead to 66-59.
Cebuana Lhuillier, with its core consisting for players from the University of the East, tried to make a comeback with such limited to play but came up ultimately short.
Jens Knuttel, one of the PBA aspirants this year, chalked up a double-double of 12 points and 10 assists, along with four rebounds. Other applicants Ping Exciminiano and Mike Parala chipped in nine points apiece.
“I think those who are joining the draft really pushed it hard today. All of them played great. I guess they’re ready for the PBA,” said head coach Edgar Macaraya in Filipino after the game.
Paul Zamar, who carried the Gems in their final push, finished with 15 points, nine rebounds and five assists while Papot Paredes, a fomer La Salle Green Archer, scored 10 points in his PBA D-League debut.