Strong Hapee finish scuttles Cafe France
Chris Newsome combined with Hapee’s three aces in the national team to power the Fresh Fighters to within a win of a second straight championship in the PBA D-League yesterday.
Newsome dropped 14 of his 18 points in a searing second half as the Fresh Fighters subdued Cafe France, 83-72, yesterday to take Game 1 of the Foundation Cup Finals at Ynares Sports Arena.
Troy Rosario, Baser Amer and Scottie Thompson—all fresh from a gold-medal conquest with Sinag Pilipinas in the Southeast Asian Games—also sustained their sharp form to fuel a fourth-quarter breakaway that had the Fresh Fighters taking a double-digit lead for the first time at 72-62, after three tight quarters.
The trio, together with Newsome, scored all of Hapee’s 23 points in the final period.
“We were quicker,” said Hapee coach Ronnie Magsanoc.
The Fresh Fighters, winners of the Aspirants Cup last April, will go for a sweep of the best-of-three series in Game 2 on Monday.
Aside from the late offensive burst, Hapee clamped down on Cafe France’s top guards Eloy Poligrates and Maverick Ahanmisi.
The Fresh Fighters limited Poligrates to 10 points on a woeful 3-of-20 clip from the field, while Ahanmisi finished with seven points on 3-of-10 shooting.
The Fresh Fighters’ bench also outscored the Bakers, 38-18.
“Today there was no team effort,” said Cafe France coach Egay Macaraya. “We were also not making our shots.”
Ola Adeogun, who felt under the weather, buried all of his 12 points in the first two quarters before sitting out the entire second half.
But Rosario came through to finish with 11 points and six rebounds, while Amer unloaded all of his 11 points in the second half.
Thompson also tallied 10 points and seven rebounds to round out the five Fresh Fighters who finished in double figures.
The Bakers last threatened at 76-72, after Samboy de Leon’s back-to-back triples with 65 seconds to go, but Amer responded with a trey that sparked the Fresh Fighters’ 7-0 windup.
HAPEE 83—Newsome 18, Adeogun 12, Rosario 11, Amer 11, Thompson 10, Dela Cuz 9, Villahermosa 6, Romero 4, Mendoza 2, Long 0, Elorde 0.
CAFE FRANCE 72—Cortez 15, De Leon 11, Miranda 11, Poligrates 10, Sedurifa 9, Ahanmisi 7, Ebondo 5, Abundo 2, Andrada 2, Jeruta 0, Batino 0.
Quarters: 23-22, 38-37, 60-56, 83-72