PBA D-League semis: Cafe France, Phoenix score
CAFE France and Phoenix-Far Eastern University moved within a win of arranging a title showdown after getting back at their elimination-round tormentors in the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup yesterday at Filoil Flying V Center.
Mon Abundo and Congolese Rod Ebondo took charge in the last seven minutes as the Bakers turned back Tanduay Rhum, 65-58, to claim Game 1 of their best-of-three semifinal series.
“It was good motivation,” said coach Egay Macaraya after his No. 1 Bakers avenged their lone loss to the Rhum Masters.
“The boys played hard since it’s very hard to stop a very good offensive team [like Tanduay]. The boys played very good defense.”
Ebondo, who topscored with 14 points and impressively hauled down 25 rebounds, teamed up with Abundo in a blistering run that shattered a 51-51 deadlock.
The Accelerators likewise banked on a late breakaway to upset the second-seeded Caida Tiles, 90-83, in their own semifinal duel.
Ed Daquioag erupted for 32 points, while Mac Belo starred with 20, including six points in a pivotal 14-1 tear that gave the Accelerators an 88-79 advantage with 72 seconds left.
“First time we played against them, we were caught flat,” said coach Eric Gonzales, after the Accelerators got even with the Tile Masters, who routed them in the eliminations.
“Our team got used to relaxing at the start, so we wanted them to learn how to engage right on.”
Russel Escoto also chipped in 11 points, the last two on a jumper that tied the match at 78, on top of grabbing 10 boards.
Belo—who collected nine rebounds, two assists and three steals—put the Accelerators on top, 82-78, after scoring on a putback and a 12-foot jumper with 3:55 minutes remaining.
Abundo knocked in a triple and a running shot in a 9-0 spurt that shoved the Bakers in front, 60-51, at the 2:37 mark.
Macaraya also credited Abundo, who dropped seven of his nine points in the final quarter, for his defensive play against Tanduay shooter Von Pessumal.
PHOENIX-FEU 90—Daquioag 32, Belo 20, Escoto Ru. 11, Tolomia 10, Tamsi 5, Andrada 4,Pogoy 4, Iñigo 3, Escoto Ri. 1, Mendoza 0.
CAIDA TILES 83—Grey 14, Perkins 12, Javier 11, Cabrera 10 Terso 10, Jalalon 9, Paniamogan 7, Robles 4, Maiquez 3, Gabawan 2, Nambatac 1.
Quarters: 23-23, 42-46, 67-68, 90-83
CAFE FRANCE 65—Ebondo 14, Manlangit 11, Cruz 10, Abundo 9, Villahermosa 9, De Leon 6, Jeruta 6, Arim 0, Casino 0, Celso 0, Opiso 0, Zamar 0.
TANDUAY LIGHT 58—Llagas 13, Pessumal 13, Belencion 11, Javillonar 6, Celda 4, Eriobu 3, Lingganay 3, Santos 3, Wetherell 2, Acuna 0, Tagarda 0.
Quarters: 18-16, 32-28, 49-44, 65-58
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.