PBA D-League: Martinez shines as Gems beat skidding Waves
MANILA, Philippines — James Martinez helped Cebuana Lhuillier avert a late-game collapse as the Gems, after blowing a double-digit lead, salvaged a 68-66 squeaker over the Boracay Rum Waves in the PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup Tuesday at the Blue Eagle gym.
Martinez hit two triples down the stretch with his second three-pointer giving Cebuana Lhuillier the lead for good, 66-65, with 1:25 to go.
“This is our last game for the year. We have a lot of catching up to do. Hopefully, the one month break will help us improve on our game,” said Cebuana coach Boycie Zamar after his team stopped a three-game tailspin for a 2-6 mark.
The former University of the East guard Martinez scored 15 points, all of which came from long range. Roi Sumang, the Red Warriors’ current star, added 12 points while Papot Paredes registered a double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds.
The Gems appeared well on their way to a blowout victory after they zoomed to a 22-10 advantage and took a 39-25 buffer at halftime.
The Waves stormed back in the second half and even found themselves on the driver’s seat with a 59-54 edge on a layup by Far Eastern U forward Mark Belo with7:13 remaining.
Belo’s basket, however, turned out to be Boracay Rum’s last conversion as the Waves went scoreless in the next five minutes.
Paolo Taha and Belo had 13 and 12 points, respectively, for Boracay Rum, which succumbed to its third straight setback.
Fil-Italian guard Chris Banchero struggled with just six points on three-of-nine shooting from the field. He dished out seven assists but also committed five turnovers, four in the final frame, as the Waves slid to 2-5.