Accelerators wrap up D-L crown in OT | Inquirer Sports

Accelerators wrap up D-L crown in OT

By: - Reporter / @jwpayoINQ
/ 01:34 AM April 15, 2016

PHOENIX-FEU players raise their D-League Aspirants Cup trophy after finishing off Cafe France in five games.  Also in photo is PBA chair Robert Non.  AUGUST DELA CRUZ

PHOENIX-FEU players raise their D-League Aspirants Cup trophy after finishing off Cafe France in five games. Also in photo is PBA chair Robert Non. AUGUST DELA CRUZ

FAR EASTERN University’s star trio struck hard when it mattered, just like they always do.

Mac Belo, Mike Tolomia and Roger Pogoy took charge in overtime as Phoenix-FEU rallied past Cafe France, 88-81, to capture the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup championship yesterday at Ynares Sports Arena.


“That’s what we always teach them—you can’t give up,” said coach Eric Gonzales after his Accelerators came back from an 11-point deficit in the second half of the winner-take-all Game 5.
Belo, Tolomia and Pogoy combined for all of the team’s 14 points in the extra period, where the Accelerators surged to a 10-4 start for an 84-78 advantage going into the final two minutes.

“Sanay na sa bakbakan (They’re used to such battles),” Gonzales said of the trio, who also powered FEU to the UAAP men’s basketball crown last December.
Belo—who led with a double-double of 25 points and 13 rebounds— dropped four straight points to spark the Accelerators’ strong start in the extra period, before Tolomia and Pogoy buried back-to-back triples for an 84-78 cushion.
“All our hard work paid off,” said Belo, the conference Most Valuable Player who hit another huge basket that padded the Accelerators’ advantage, 86-78, with 55 seconds left.
Tolomia finished with 15 points, seven rebounds and three assists, while big men Raymar Jose and Russel Escoto combined for 21 points.
Pogoy—who buried the game-winner all the way from 27 feet in Game 3—also collected nine points, seven boards and nine assists.
The Bakers had a shot at clinching their second straight crown outright, but Paul Zamar missed on a running shot in the dwindling seconds as regulation play ended at 74-74.
“We were all tired, but we said we can’t give up now,” said Gonzales.
Zamar, the only one who scored for the Bakers in the extra period, led his team with 20 points.
The Accelerators trailed by as many as 11 points, 39-50, before Belo, Jose and Escoto fueled a strong third-quarter closeout that trimmed the gap to 56-62.
A 10-2 start in the fourth period, half coming from Belo, pushed the Accelerators ahead, 66-64.
The scores:
PHOENIX-FEU 88—Belo 25, Tolomia 15, Jose 11, Ru. Escoto 10, Pogoy 9, Tamsi 8, Andrada 4, Mendoza 3, Daquioag 2, Ri. Escoto 1, Iñigo 0.
CAFE FRANCE 81—Zamar 20, Ebondo 14, Manlangit 14, De Leon 11, Villahermosa 10, Abundo 4, Cruz 4, Jeruta 4, Arim 0, Casiño 0.
Quarters: 14-13, 32-38, 56-62, 74-74 (reg.), 88-81 (OT)

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TAGS: Basketball, Cafe France, PBA D-League Aspirants Cup, Phoenix-FEU

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