Giants trip Bakers, gain automatic semifinal berth
MANILA, Philippines — Jumbo Plastic turned its game around in the second half to hack out a 67-57 victory over Cafe France and clinch an outright semifinal berth in the PBA D-League Foundation Cup yesterday at Meralco Gym.
Rallying from double-digit deficits, the Giants leaned on the quartet of Jerick Cañada, Jopher Custodio, Jason Ballesteros and Jan Colina to snatch the No. 2 spot from defending champion Blackwater Sports on the final day of eliminations.
“This (is) our goal,” said coach Steven Tiu after his Giants joined unbeaten NLEX (9-0) in the Final Four. “Everyone is excited about our accomplishment. But hopefully, the guys won’t be content with this.”
Both Jumbo Plastic and Blackwater finished the eliminations with 6-3 records, but the Giants nailed the No. 2 spot due to the winner-over-the-other tiebreak rule.
Blackwater slipped to third place and will head into the quarterfinals armed with a twice-to-beat advantage over Cafe France, which nailed the last quarterfinal berth despite the loss.
Derulo Accelero spoiled Boracay Rum’s bid to claim the last quarterfinal seat in the second game after forging a come-from-behind 86-83 triumph.
Cafe France wound up tied at 3-6 with four other teams, including Derulo Accelero and Boracay Rum, but luckily got the last quarterfinal slot due to a higher quotient.
Cañada dropped all of his 14 points in the second half and Custodio added 11 for the Giants, who climbed out of an early 11-point deficit, 15-26.
Ballesteros also came out big for the Giants with 11 points, 14 rebounds and four blocks, while Colina added eight markers.
“Everyone was overeager in the first half,” said Tiu. “At halftime, I just told the players if we can’t score, we must play consistent defense.” With a report from Xavier Villaluz, Contributor-trainee
JUMBO PLASTIC 67—Cañada 14, Custodio 11, Ballesteros 9, Colina 8, Dehesa 7, Villamor 5, Magat 4, Romero 3, Petilos 3, Tan 3, Viernes 0, Parala 0.
CAFE FRANCE 57—Cortes 13, Batino 9, Montilla 9, Sedurifa 7, Ebondo 5, Banua 3, De Leon 3, Opiso 3, Jeruta 3, Mutombo 2, Abundo 0.
Quarters: 11-16, 28-33, 51-42, 67-57
DERULO ACCELERO 86—Juico 22, Jalalon 13, Corpuz 13, Bautista 11, Acosta 10, Roncal 5, Manuel 5, Soyud 5, Morillo 2, Importante 0.
BORACAY RUM 83—Banchero 22, Lingganay 22, Bautista 11, Ignacio 10, Belo 9, Ilagan 6, Sabellina 2, Tagarda 1, Siruma 0, Caperal 0, Roño 0.
Quarters: 14-25, 30-34, 51-61, 86-83