Undermanned Hapee outmuscles Cebuana for 1-0 lead in semis
Undermanned Hapee continued its inspired run in the 2015 PBA D-League Foundation Cup, stunning top-seed Cebuana Lhuillier, 82-71, to take a 1-0 lead in their best-of-3 semifinals series Monday at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
Ola Adeogun dominated in the paint, registering a double-double of 25 points and 14 rebounds to outmuscle Gems counterpart Moala Tautuaa.
Art dela Cruz also got it going from the field, going 10-of-17 for a near triple-double performance of 23 markers, nine boards, and seven assists, while Chris Newsome added 13 for the Fresh Fighters.
“I think we caught them on an off-day,” said Hapee coach Ronnie Magsanoc. “They’re probably a little rusty and I thought our defense was able to hold up early.”
Adeogun set the tone early, scoring 11 points in the opening quarter as Hapee raced to a 30-19 advantage. Though Cebuana was able to cut the deficit and even take the lead at one point, the Gems just couldn’t get their bearings going as they trailed the Fresh Fighters by as big as 24, 80-56, midway in the payoff period.
Paul Zamar paced Cebuana with 18 points on a 4-of-5 shooting from three, while Simon Enciso came away with 14 markers.
Tautuaa, who left early in the third period after suffering from an ankle sprain, finished with 11 points and 10 boards.
Hapee 82 – Adeogun 25, Dela Cruz 23, Newsome 13, Elorde 6, Mendoza 6, Koga 4, Romero 3, Villahermosa 2, Long 0, Sorela 0, Gamboa 0.
Cebuana Lhuillier 71 – Zamar 18, Enciso 14, Tautuaa 11, Corpuz 8, Cabrera 8, Lopez 6, Van Opstal 3, A. Mangahas 2, Bautista 1, J. Mangahas 0, Sarangay 0.
Quarters: 30-19, 51-40, 71-51, 82-71.