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Hapee gets back at Cagayan to draw first blood in PBA D-League finals

/ 05:55 PM February 16, 2015
Ola Adeogun fights for the rebound. PBA Images/Nuki Sabio

Ola Adeogun fights for the rebound. PBA Images/Nuki Sabio

MANILA, Philippines — Hapee avenged its only loss with an 82-74 win over Cagayan Valley to take Game 1 of the 2015 PBA D-League Aspirants Cup Finals Monday at the Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan.

Nigerian center Ola Adeogun scored 21 points on 11-0f-12 shooting from the free throw line, collared 15 rebounds and had three blocks for the Fresh Fighters, who will shoot for the championship on Thursday at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.

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Hapee blew a 20-point lead as Cagayan, behind Don Trollano, pulled to within four, 50-46, with still over five minutes left in the third quarter.

But the Fresh Fighters managed to settle down and went back to their strengths to regain control of the game.

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“Scottie Thompson and Baser Amer gave us a huge lift,” said Hapee head coach Ronnie Magsanoc. “The important thing for us is to turn it into a defensive-oriented series. It’s a high-octane offensive team averaging 100 points in the last three games and that team is built to run and hopefully we can slow them down again.”

Guards Baser Amer and Scottie Thompson combined for only 15 points and six assists but they teamed up to provide stability for Hapee as Cagayan went to a full-court press. Amer stretched his team’s lead back to 14, 77-63, on two free throws off Abel Galiguez’s fifth foul with 4:02 remaining.

Galiguez, who hit the game-winning 3-pointer in the Rising Suns thrilling 80-77 victory over the Fresh Fighters back in the elimination round, was held to without a field goal – scoring just three points on 0-of-6 shooting from the field before fouling out with 22.1 seconds left.

Fil-Tongan Moala Tautuaa notched a double-double with 16 points and 15 rebounds for the Suns.

Ray Parks was named the conference’s MVP  and scattered six points, five rebounds and three assists for Hapee. Troy Rosario added 16 points and four rebounds.

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TAGS: Cagayan, Fresh Fighters, Hapee, pressure
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