Racal clinches outright semis, edges Cafe France | Inquirer Sports

Racal clinches outright semis, edges Cafe France

/ 07:26 PM March 09, 2017
Rey Nambatac. PBA IMAGES

Rey Nambatac. PBA IMAGES

Rey Nambatac came up with the big plays in the end game as Racal nabbed a 82-78 victory over Cafe France and clinched an outright semis seat in the 2017 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup Thursday at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.

The Letran guard fired eight of his 24 points in the fourth quarter, including a huge trey and the go-ahead assist to Jackson Corpuz with 59.2 seconds to play to improve the Tile Masters’ record to 7-1 and seal their place at the top two. He also had seven rebounds, and two assists.

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Kent Salado added 12 markers, eight boards, and three assists, while Corpuz tallied a double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Sidney Onwubere also had 10 markers, eight coming in the fourth period, to go with six assists, and three boards, and Allan Mangahas also got 10, including the dagger three to put the game away, 79-75, in the final 37.2 ticks.

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“I’m glad that we’re able to beat them. They’re really a nightmare matchup against us, but I’m glad that our big man did their roles against (Rod) Ebondo,” said coach Jerry Codinera.

The win also gave Cignal-San Beda (7-1) the other outright semifinals seat, with the two teams fighting for the top seed on Monday.

“Beating Cignal will give us another boost of confidence going to the playoffs. It’s going to be huge for our chemistry and it’s easier to develop chemistry while winning,” said Codinera.

Nambatac and Onwubere teamed up to give the Tile Masters a 69-61 lead with 4:18 to play, but Ebondo carried the Bakers back in the game and fired a 10-2 run to once again knot the score at 71.

Though Paul Desiderio still tried to will Cafe France to the lead, 75-74, with 1:13 remaining, Nambatac weaved his magic anew and delivered the huge victory in the clutch.

Ebondo finished with 24 points, 12 rebounds, and five blocks for the third-seed Cafe France (6-2), while Desiderio got 19 markers, nine boards, and two assists.

The Scores:

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RACAL 82  – Nambatac 24, Salado 11, Corpuz 10, Mangahas 10, Onwubere 10, Cabrera 7, Dagangon 3, Torres 3, Flores 2, Gabawan 2, Capacio 0, Gumaru 0, Terso 0.

CAFE FRANCE 78 – Ebondo 24, Desiderio 19, Faundo 13, Calisaan 11, Guinitaran 6, Wamar 3, Casino 2, Arim 0, Baloria 0, Jeruta 0, Manlangit 0, Veron 0.

Quarters: 11-15, 30-34, 53-51, 82-78.

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TAGS: 2016 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup, Cafe France Bakers, Racal Tile Masters
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