PBA D-League: Sumos, Road Warriors prevail over foes | Inquirer Sports

PBA D-League: Sumos, Road Warriors prevail over foes

/ 07:54 PM May 17, 2011

MANILA, Philippines—Eric Salamat punched in five of NLEX’s last seven points to lift the Road Warriors past Freego Jeans, 85-81, Tuesday in the classification phase of the PBA D-League Foundation Cup at the Meralco gym in Ortigas.

Salamat sank a timely triple to put the Road Warriors ahead by one, 81-80, with 41 ticks left before freethrows from him and Calvin Abueva sealed their victory.

Abueva, who completed his charities with 1.2 seconds left, had another double-double showing with 20 points and 12 rebounds while Salamat finished with 19 points for NLEX.

Already assured of a outright spot in the quarterfinals, the Road Warriors came alive in the payoff period and after trailing behind the guns ablaze Freego in the first three quarters.

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The game was then reduced to battle of spurts after a 57-all stalemate, with Freego even leading 77-72 before NLEX caught up anew.

Hot-shooting Roider Cabrera, who exploded for 21 points with four triples in the fourth, nailed one from downtown to give Freego its last lead at 80-78.

Meanwhile, Max! Bond Super Glue Sumos nonetheless overwhelmed the FCA Cultivators, 93-83, despite the absence of their head coach Pido Jarencio.

With the outright quarterfinals berth still in sight, the Sumos concluded the classification campaign on a winning note with a 4-2 slate in Group B.

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A loss by Cobra Ironmen vs Cebuana Lhuiller Gems, leaders in their bracket, next week will earn Max! Bond a free ride to the next round.

Even as they suffered a sound clobbering from the Gems last week in a match marred with a bench clearing tussle, the Sumos vented their ire on the Cultivators by leading by as huge as 30 points.

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A solid second quarter showing pushed the lead further in favor of Max! Bond as it waxed hot from the floor and held FCA to just one field goal courtesy of Jopher Castillo.

Lei Mar Navarro had 21, Reil Cervantes had 17 while Rudy Lingganay added 16 points for the Sumos.

The Cultivators started to connect in the second half led by Alex Mallari, who uncorked 19 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter, to single-handedly chip away Max! Bond’s whopping deficit.

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The Cultivators finished with a 3-3 card, while Freego dropped to 2-4, but both remained in contention for the playoffs.

TAGS: Basketball, PBA, PBA D-League, Sports

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