Rhum Masters topple Bakers | Inquirer Sports

Rhum Masters topple Bakers

/ 06:07 PM February 22, 2016



Tanduay pulled off a stunner and dealt Cafe France its first loss of the 2016 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup, 79-74 to snap the Bakers’ five-game winning run Monday at San Juan Arena.

“Coming in today, we knew one streak has to end, but our backs are against the wall,” said coach Lawrence Chongson. “I mentioned previously that it’s hard to beat Cafe France. It’s one obstacle that we prepared for, but basically it was our mental toughness. We didn’t want to play the emotional game, so our mental game should be at 90 percent to cope up with a juggernaut like Cafe France.”

Reden Celda scattered 12 points for the Rhum Masters, while newly activated Val Acuna poured five of his 10 markers in the fourth, including the go-ahead layup at the 2:01 mark of the frame to push Tanduay up, 71-70.


JP Belencion got 10 points as Pari Llagas and Ryan Wetherell both finished with nine.

Racking up four straight wins, Tanduay now sits at solo fourth with a 4-2 slate.

“What we have is resiliency. We know what’s at stake. One loss and we might kiss our top four dream goodbye,” Chongson said as he targets to grab one of the four twice-to-beat incentives in the quarterfinals. “Our only hope is a sweep, and that will only give us the number three.”

“We know that if we want to win a championship, we have to go through the teams like CafeFrance and Caida.”


Carl Bryan Cruz led Cafe France with 15 points and five rebounds, while Rod Ebondo ended up with a double-double of 14 markers and 17 boards in the defeat.

The scores:


TANDUAY 79 – Celda 12, Acuna 10, Belencion 10, Llagas 9, Wetherell 9, Santos 8, Javillonar 7, Lingganay 6, Pessumal 4, Eriobu 2, Tagarda 2, Belleza 0, Gotladera 0.

CAFE FRANCE 74 – Cruz 15, Ebondo 14, Zamar 13, Opiso 8, Jeruta 6, Villahermosa 6, Abundo 5, De Leon 3, Anunciacion 2, Manlangit 2, Arim 0, Casino 0.

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Quarters: 22-24, 39-44, 52-57, 79-74.

TAGS: Aspirants Cup, Cafe France Bakers, PBA D-League, Tanduay Rhum Masters

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