PBA D-League: Ballesteros towers as Jumbo Plastic trips Cebuana
MANILA, Philippines — Jumbo Plastic stood tall and held Cebuana Lhuillier scoreless for the bulk of the payoff period for an 82-70 win Thursday in the 2013 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup at the JCSGO Gym.
Anchored by towering center Jason Ballesteros and lanky back-up Marion Magat, the Giants closed out the game with a furious 18-2 run and held the Gems scoreless for a good six minutes in the fourth.
“We were patient in the later part of this game. We were up by 10 and they recovered and even led but we weren’t rattled and we didn’t lose our composure,” said head coach Steven Tiu.
After regaining the lead in the third quarter, the Giants succumbed to the Gems’ fightback and relinquished the lead, 64-66, after a jumper from University of the East bigman Chris Javier.
But that was the last Jumbo Plastic would take the backseat as Ballesteros and the rest of the Giants patiently took over the lead and frustrated Cebuana.
“I went big because we were getting outrebounded. I used two of my biggest players because we really needed to adjust,” Tiu also said.
Ballesteros scattered 23 points and hauled down a game-best 12 rebounds for the Giants, who ended with elimination round within reach of the twice-to-beat incentive in the quarterfinals.
“I tell him every time that he’s the veteran in this team. He should lead the younger players,” Tiu said of Ballesteros, an ex-pro who also used to be a part of the Smart Gilas developmental pool.
Jan Colina and Karl Dehesa added 12 markers apiece, while Magat finished with 10 points, all but four in the crucial fourth quarter.
Perpetual Help standout Harold Arboleda had six points and 10 rebounds in a quality showing. Starting guard Elliot Tan had only five points but doled out 10 of the team’s 21 assists.
The Giants recovered from a sluggish start where the Gems led by as many as nine, 26-17.
Cebuana Lhuillier, though, couldn’t replicate the feat and ran into a dryspell late in the game, scoring only four points in the last seven minutes of the match.
Roi Sumang and Bam Gamalinda had 13 apiece for the Gems, whose chances of making it to the playoffs are bleak as they dropped to 4-5.