Che’Lu-San Sebastian rallies from 19 down, books D-League Finals ticket
Che’Lu Bar and Grill-San Sebastian battled back from 19 points down and swept Akari-Adamson with a 93-90 Game 2 shocker to advance to the 2018 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup Finals Thursday at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
Jeff Viernes drilled the go-ahead jumper with 18.2 seconds to spare to give the Revellers a 92-90 advantage and played tremendous defense on the other end as Egie Boy Mojica’s layup rolled out of the rim with 4.8 seconds left.
Viernes would then settle for a split from the foul line to make it a three point game for the last of his team-best 17 points, before Mojica botched a halfcourt hail-mary at the buzzer.
“Even though he played bad to start the game, it was still him who delivered us the win in the end,” said coach Stevenson Tiu of his veteran guard.
Viernes also added seven assists, three rebounds, and two steals to lead the four-seed Che’Lu-San Sebastian in the upset of the top seed Falcons.
Allyn Bulanadi also got 16 markers, four boards, and two assists, while Cedrick Ablaza contributed 15 points and eight rebounds.
Michael Calisaan also dropped 14 in his first game for the Revellers after recovering from an elbow injury.
It was an awe-inspiring comeback from Che’Lu-San Sebastian, which stared at a 19-point deficit, 3-22, to open the game.
“We were rattled in the beginning, but we just worked per possession and told the guys that we will not make a comeback in an instant. We need to slowly claw our way back in the game,” said Tiu.
It was a tough defeat for Akari-Adamson, which shot 50-percent from the field in the first quarter but could not sustain the hot start.
Sean Manganti dropped 29 points, six rebounds, three assists, and three steals in the ouster, while Jonathan Espeleta had 12.
CHE’LU BAR AND GRILL-SAN SEBASTIAN 93 — Viernes 17, Bulanadi 16, Ablaza 15, Calisaan 14, Ilagan 7, Siruma 7, Batino 5, David 5, Faundo 3, De Leon 2, Taganas 2, Collado 0, Costelo 0.
AKARI-ADAMSON 90 — Manganti 29, Espeleta 12, Ahanmisi 11, Sarr 10, Pingoy 9, Camacho 6, Mojica 5, Bernardo 4, Lastimosa 4, Buenaventura 0, Longalong 0.
Quarters: 18-31, 50-56, 73-73, 93-90.
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