Playing coach Avenido carries Gamboa past Zark’s
Leo Avenido took matters into his own hands down the stretch as Gamboa Coffee Mix pulled off an 85-84 stunner over Zark’s Burger Thursday in the 2017 PBA D-League Foundation Cup at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
The 38-year-old playing coach drained the go-ahead freethrows with 3.1 seconds left to complete the Coffee Lovers’ comeback from 13-points down for their first win in the developmental league.
“It was hard because I’m not Jawo,” said Avenido, alluding to legendary Ginebra playing coach Robert Jaworski.
“The ball just found me. As a veteran, I just did what I could to lift the morale of the players.”
He finished with 15 points, five rebounds, two assists, and two steals for Gamboa Coffee Mix, which battled back from an early 32-19 hole and unleashed a 32-point third quarter to close the gap to two, 68-66.
Ken Acibar topped the Coffee Lovers with 17 markers and seven boards, while Jens Knuttel added 12 points, four dimes, and three rebounds.
Robby Celiz still tried to steal the victory, but his three-pointer fell way short as the Coffee Lovers’ defense clamped down on him as the buzzer sounded.
The veteran swingman paced the Jawbreakers with 26 points on a 10-of-25 shooting from the field, while also hauling down nine rebounds and three assists.
GAMBOA COFFEE MIX 85 – Acibar 17, Avenido 15, Knuttel 12, Acuna 9, Sarangay 8, Padilla 7, Vidal 7, Arellano 6, Jumao-as 2, Montuano 2, Riva 0, Dadjilul 0.
ZARK’S BURGER 84 – Celiz 26, Cayabyab 9, Mangahas 9, Argamino 8, Sheriff 8, De Leon 6, Ferrer 6, Bautista 5, Cudal 5, Juruena 2, Nalos 0.
Quarters: 17-29, 34-46, 66-68, 85-84.
Gamboa playing coach Leo Avenido on his team’s first win. pic.twitter.com/H0QGsxclMT
— Cedelf P. Tupas (@cedelfptINQ) May 25, 2017