Nambatac pulls Racal to a semis spot

ABS-CBN Sports on Mar 09, 2017 09:27 PM
Nambatac pulls Racal to a semis spot
Racal's Rey Nambatac scattered 24 points as the Tile Masters secured a slot in the semifinals.

Rey Nambatac towed Racal to the semifinals with a gutsy 82-78 win over Cafe France Thursday in the 2017 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.

The Letran swingman provided the big plays down the stretch as he unloaded eight of his 24 points in the fourth quarter, including the pivotal assist to Jackson Corpuz in the final 59.2 seconds to secure the Tile Masters in the top two and rise to a 7-1 record. He also got seven rebounds, and two assists.

But it’s not just Nambatac, as the whole Racal squad chipped in and made significant contributions for the team.

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

Sidney Onwubere notched 10 markers, eight coming in the fourth period, to go with six assists, and three boards, and Allan Mangahas had 10, none bigger than his dagger three to give the Tile Masters a 79-75 lead with 37.2 seconds left. 

“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.

Racal’s win also propelled Cignal-San Beda (7-1) to an outright semifinals seat, with the two set to battle on Monday for the number one-seed.

“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.

Racal wasted a 69-61 lead with 4:18 to play as the Rod Ebondo-led Bakers mounted a huge fightback thanks to their 10-2 tear to tie the game at 71.

Paul Desiderio completed a huge four-point play to give Cafe France a 75-74 lead with 1:13 remaining, but Nambatac orchestrated the biggest play of the game with his assist to Corpuz, which was followed by the Mangahas long bob to seal the deal late.

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

In the first game, Mark Cruz showed the way for Tanduay, inching closer to the last twice-to-beat incentive in the quarterfinals with a 78-60 rout of Blustar Detergent.

The former Letran guard immediately made impact, firing 11 of his 17 points to trigger the Rhum Masters’ breakaway, where it led by as much as 31, 59-28, midway in the third quarter.

Cruz shot 6-of-9 from the field while also collecting five rebounds and three assists in the victory.

Jerwin Gaco added 10 markers and five boards off the bench in the easy win.

Tanduay rose to fourth place with its 5-3 card and can secure the seat, which comes twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals, with a win against Jose Rizal University (4-4) next Tuesday.

“Alam namin yung scenario. How we’re going to perform or show up is another story,” said coach Lawrence Chongson, who remains dissatisfied with the effort his team has been showing through the course of the conference. “I still don’t see the consistency. I’m not looking beyond JRU, but the way we’re performing is still a concern for me. Hopefully, we jell on time for the playoffs.”

Tristan Perez carried Blustar (0-8) with 20 points and nine rebounds, while Vincent Choong had 15 markers.


The Scores:

First Game:

TANDUAY 78 - Cruz 17, Gaco 10, Sanga 10, Santos 8, Varilla 7, Eguilos 6, Vigil 6, Stevens 3, Villamor 3, Asuncion 2, Cenal 2, Palma 2, Quinto 2, Sollano 0.

BLUSTAR 60 - Perez 20, Choong 15, Melano 10, Mak 6, Liaw 5, Ong 4, Heng 0, Ang 0, Kwaan 0, Chin 0.

Quarters: 17-10, 44-20, 66-42, 78-60.


Second Game:

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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