Big Chill nips Cebuana Lhuillier, improves to 4-0
MANILA, Philippines – Stocky point guard Brian Heruela didn’t score a point but still made his presence felt in Big Chill’s 81-78 win over Cebuana Lhuillier Monday in the PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup at the JCSGO gym in Cubao.
Heruela handed out 11 assists, his last on a drive and dish to Jeckster Apinan for the go-ahead basket plus the bonus free throw, 80-77, with 34.1 seconds left.
“I’ve got to give it to Cebuana they came prepared to this game,” said Big Chill coach Robert Sison after the Superchargers improved to a league best 4-0. “Heruela has been consistent.”
The Gems had a chance to tie with still 15 seconds left after Mar Villahermosa made it a three-point game with a free throw but Ralf Olivares misfired on a contested attempt from the right wing.
“My boys stepped up. We really prepared hard. Good thing we were able to attack their zone.”
Janus Lozada had a team-high 14 points while Apinan finished with 13 points and eight rebounds.
Big Chill pulled ahead in the second quarter and appeared to be on its way to an easy win but Cebuana Lhuillier quickly came back and even took the lead in the fourth quarter with Roi Sumang at the forefront of the Gems offense.
Sumang scored 20 points and had four rebounds, four assists and four turnovers while Rex Leynes added 11 points.
Former San Beda Red Lion Mar Villahermosa put Big Chill ahead by two on a short baseline jumper before Paul Zamar buried a leaner with 55.2 ticks remaining.
“Strong teams really need to know how to close out games and finish strong. There’s no time to relax at this point. It’s a gruelling season,” Sison said.
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