Racal rallies by CafeFrance behind Onwubere’s Game 1 takeover

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Mar 21, 2017 05:34 PM
Racal rallies by CafeFrance behind Onwubere’s takeover
THE TOUCH. A red-hot Sidney Onwubere saved the day for Racal against CafeFrance.

Known primarily as a power player, Sidney Onwubere used Game 1 of the 2017 PBA D-League Aspirants Cup semifinals as a stage to showcase another side of him.

Another side that, apparently, has sweet-shooting touch as well as, undoubtedly, big-time heart.

Scoring 16 points inside the last six minutes, including the game-winner, Onwubere fronted Racal’s gutsy come-from-behind victory versus a very game CafeFrance, 88-86, on Tuesday at the Marikina Sports Complex.

The second-seeded Tile Masters looked to be on their way to dropping Game 1 in the best-of-three series as Rod Ebondo’s surprise triple gifted the Bakers a one-point lead in the dying seconds.

With 1.9 ticks to go after Jerry Codinera’s timeout, however, Onwubere took the ball and took charge in launching a deep trey over the outstretched arms of two defenders. The ball touched nothing but net and proved to the exclamation mark in his 5-of-10 clip from long-distance.

“Basta tinira ko na lang yung bola,” he said, himself in awe, after the win.

In all, the Filipino-Nigerian had 24 points to go along with three rebounds and three assists.

Catching fire in the final frame, Onwubere kept Racal alive as it found itself behind by 11 after three quarters and down by seven with three minutes remaining.

Kent Salado and Jackson Corpuz added 16 and 14 points, respectively, for the Tile Masters.

On the other hand, Ebondo’s 30 points and 13 rebounds were all for naught as CafeFrance fell short in stopping Onwubere’s endgame takeover.

BOX SCORES

RACAL 88 - Onwubere 24, Salado 16, Corpuz 14, Flores 10, Nambatac 9 Mangahas 7, Dagangon 3, Torres 3, Gabawan 2, Gumaru 0, Terso 0.

CAFEFRANCE 86 - Ebondo 30, Desiderio 17, Casino 13, Sedurifa 9, Calisaan 5, Faundo 4, Wamar 3, Arim 2, Manlangit 2, Jeruta 1, Aquino 0, Guinitaran 0.

QUARTER SCORES: 22-20, 39-34, 59-60, 88-86.

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