Tanduay ousts AMA; Bakers back in semis
ABS-CBN Sports on Mar 16, 2017 07:42 PM
TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS.
CafeFrance and Tanduay didn’t even need their twice-to-beat advantage as they handily advanced to the 2017 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup semifinals on Thursday at the Ynares Arena in Pasig.
Tanduay completed the Final Four cast with an 80-76 escape act over AMA Online Education, while CafeFrance easily disposed of Jose Rizal University with an 86-75 victory.
Mark Cruz captained the Rhum Masters with 23 points, six rebounds, and five assists while Jerwin Gaco contributed 16 markers and eight boards in the win to set a semifinal date against top seed Cignal-San Beda College on Tuesday.
“You have to give it to AMA. They refused to lose with their season on the line, but in the end, my boys managed to squeeze it out and we gutted out all of the challenges and rallies they mounted,” said coach Lawrence Chongson.
Banking on its 21-6 start, Tanduay tried to stave off AMA in the earlygoing before Von Tambeling caught fire and finally tied the score at 74 with 5:31 left to play.
In a nip-and-tuck battle late in the game, the Rhum Masters would leave the door open, 79-76, for AMA as Bong Quinto missed two huge free throws in the last 17.4 seconds. Unfortunately for the Titans, Mario Bonleon rushed a trey as Cruz sealed the win with a split from the line.
Tambeling, who was recently signed from also-ran Wangs Basketball, carried the Titans with 27 points and 10 rebounds while Jason Riley got 12 markers, three boards, and two assists in the exit.
Jeron Teng was limited in the game, shooting a paltry 1-of-15 clip from the field to wind up with a conference-low six points, six rebounds, and six assists.
In the first game, it was Paul Desiderio who showed the way for CafeFrance as he scattered 16 points banking on three triples to go with four rebounds and two assists.
Congolese big man Rod Ebondo tallied 16 markers, 11 boards, and three blocks, comebacking forward Joseph Sedurifa also registered 15 points, eight rebounds, and four assists, and JK Casino had 15 markers, 11 coming in the third quarter pullaway, on top of five dimes.
Crawling back from a 10-point hole, 32-22, late in the second period, the Bakers exploded for 33 points in the third frame to take control and take hold of a 65-55 advantage.
Tey Teodoro refused to let JRU sink that easily, slicing the lead to just five, 70–65, with 4:50 remaining, but Desiderio rattled back-to-back treys, with Sedurifa also nailing another three-pointer with 1:09 remaining to finally put the Heavy Bombers to sleep.
CafeFrance will now face off against second-seed Racal in a best-of-three semifinals series.
However, coach Egay Macaraya aired his concerns as he felt that the quarterfinal duel exposed the Bakers’ glaring weaknesses. “I think this game really showed that our weakness is when the defense goes to a zone. We must make our outside shots so that we can also get the ball down low to Ebondo,” he said.
Teodoro carried JRU with 18 points, two rebounds, and two assists while Jhaps Bautista got 14 markers, five boards, and three dimes in the loss.
CAFEFRANCE 86 - Desiderio 16, Ebondo 16, Casino 15, Sedurifa 15, Calisaan 9, Faundo 6 Arim 3, Jeruta 2, Manlangit 2, Wamar 2, Aquino 0, Guinitaran 0, Veron 0.
JRU 75 - Teodoro 18, Bautista 14, Amboludto 10, Dela Virgen 8, Marquez 8, Publico 7, Lasquety 6, Poutouochi 4, Astilla 0.
QUARTER SCORES: 15-22, 32-38, 65-55, 86-75.
TANDUAY 80 - Cruz 23, Gaco 16, Eguilos 9, Quinto 9, Sanga 6, Varilla 5, Alvarez 4, Santos 4, Palma 2, Villamor 2, Cenal 0, Stevens 0.
AMA 76 - Tambeling 27, Riley 12, Bonleon 9, Taganas 7, Teng 6, Olayon 6, Arambulo 4, Alabanza 3, Bragais 2, Barua 0, Macaranas 0.
QUARTER SCORES: 25-16, 46-39, 68-62, 80-76.