Jumbo Plastic pounces on retooled Hapee for close win
MANILA, Philippines — Jumbo Plastic took advantage of a new-look Hapee side to win, 64-61, in the 2015 PBA D-League Foundation Cup Monday at the JCSGO Gym in Cubao.
The Giants withstood a late charge by the Fresh Fighters, who are still adjusting after a major revamp of their roster.
“We wanted to take this game seriously because if we’ll be 0-2 if we lose this game,” said Jumbo Plastic head coach Stevenson Tiu. “We took advantage of them having new players and their team still not complete.”
Juami Tiongson and Glenn Khobuntin scored 14 points apiece for the Giants, who saw their 15-point lead cut to one, 62-61, with 49.5 seconds left.
Jaymo Eguilos sank two free throws to cushion Jumbo Plastic’s lead to three with 6.6 ticks left before Thompson missed an open 3-pointer as time expired.
“We need this kind of game to carry us through our next games,” said Tiu, whose squad played outstanding defense in the last three quarters.
Thompson had a game-high 17 points on 7-of-12 shooting from the field.
The Fresh Fighters, who played their first game since winning the Aspirants Cup title, was far from the team which dominated their way to the championship last conference with the departure of San Beda’s core led by Ola Adeogun, Baser Amer and Art dela Cruz.
Hapee also missed the services of former D-League MVP Garvo Lanete due to an injury. Ray Parks appeared to be bothered by a right shoulder injury and was held to without a field goal on nine shots and scored just one point.
“They are a very different team without Ola, Amer and Lanete. And right now, they are still not yet stable. Obviously, their new players are still adjusting.”
“Like I said, this is the best time to play against Hapee,” Tiu added.