QUEZON CITY – Racal Motors Alibaba pulled off the biggest shocker so far entering the halfway point of the 2014-2015 PBA D-League Aspirants Cup by cutting down the Jumbo Plastic Linoleum Giants, 77-66, last Monday (December 1) at the Jesus Christ Saves Global Outreach Gym. The victory allowed Racal to break out from a four-way logjam at the bottom of the standings and improved its win-loss record to 2-4.
Atoning for a scoreless first half, guard Jeff Alvin Viernes suddenly turned the tide in Racal’s favor by scattering 13 markers in the third period. Viernes combined with Jayson Ibay to erase the Giants’ six-point halftime edge, 33-27.
Marion Magat tied the game for the fifth and final time via the free throw line, 39-39, but Vaughn Canta drained a triple to signal Racal’s breakaway. It was the turn of Jam Jamito and Marte Gil to join forces with Viernes as they erected a 58-50 lead entering the final period.
Six unanswered points allowed the Giants to come to their closest with over eight minutes to play, 56-62, but timely baskets by Viernes, Ibay, Jamil Ortuoste and Ford Ruaya restored Racal’s twin-digit lead and built their biggest lead, 77-61, and coasting to the win.
“I gave the players permission to shoot as long as they are open,” said winning coach Carlos Garcia, who notched his second win in three games at the helm since replacing Jinino Manansala. “We still need to work on our defense, especially at the frontline.”
Viernes, the pride of Delfin Albano, Isabela, finished with 19 points and four steals. Ibay followed with 16 markers.
Mark Cruz paced the Giants with 14 points and seven rebounds but went scoreless in the third period during Racal’s run. Joseph Terso was next with 12 points.
Later in the day, AMA University Titans survived a late surge by Bread Story-Lyceum to go home with the 97-89 decision. Ahead since the opening buzzer, the Titans saw their 81-56 25-point fourth period lead evaporate to only five on a Jiovani Jalalon basket with 1:19 to play, 91-86.
However, the deficit proved too big to overhaul as time was not on the side of Bread Story. Clutch free throws by Philip Paniamogan and new recruit James Martinez sealed the deal for the Titans who romped to their second win in a row and evened their record to 3-3.
The Titans had a jackrabbit start by taking the first period, 26-13. Bread Story center Joseph Gabayni was forced into early foul trouble and the Titans capitalized on his prolonged absence as Jay-R Taganas and Joseph Eriobu frolicked in the paint.
“Good thing we built a good foundation with the big lead but this game will teach the players composure,” said AMA coach Mark Herrera. “I admit that we are the youngest team in the league and we need to add on to our players’ experience.”
Eriobu paced the Titans with 19 points while Paniamogan added 17. Taganas had another superlative effort with 15 points, 18 rebounds, seven assists, three steals and two blocks.
Louie Vigil led Bread Story’s losing effort with 25 points, 16 coming in their furious fourth period comeback. Jalalon supported him with 18 points and five assists.
In the nightcap, the Cebuana Lhuillier Gems pounced on the lethargic MJM M-Builders, 87-72. The Builders erected an early 11-6 advantage but this was quickly demolished via a 12-2 run anchored on Almond Vosotros and Norbert Torres for an 18-13 tally.
It was an all-Gems show henceforth with Vosotros and Torres taking turns in further taking apart the Builders with occasional help from the likes of Kevin Ferrer, Bradwyn Guinto and Allan Mangahas. By the fourth canto the floodgates burst open with the Gems outscoring the Builders, 26-19, behind the 12 points of Vosotros.
Vosotros led all scorers with 26 points in 28 minutes of play. Torres had a double-double with 15 points and 13 rebounds.
Mac Belo topped the Builders with 17 points and eight rebounds. Glenn Khobuntin followed with 15 points and 13 rebounds.
How They Scored:
RACAL MOTORS (77) – Viernes 19, Ibay 16, Ortuoste 11, Ruaya 9, Jamito 6, Gil 5, Canta 5, Gabawan 4, Saitanan 2, Mercader 0, DiGregorio 0.
JUMBO PLASTIC (66) – Cruz 14, Terso 12, Eguilos 10, Villamor 9, Rios 6, Rosales 5, Maiquez 5, Magat 3, Javier 2, King 0, Colina 0.
Period Scores: 12-13, 27-33, 58-50, 77-66.
AMA COMPUTER (97) – Eriobu 19, Paniamogan 17, Taganas 15, Martinez 10, Balucanag 9, Olivarez 8, Cubillo 7, Camasura 6, Sabangan 6, Jordan 0, Angeles 0.
BREAD STORY (89) – Vigil 25, Jalalon 18, Corpuz 12, Mbomiko 12, Gamboa 9, Bulawan 5, Gabayni 4, Lao 2, Zamora 2, Baltazar 0, Taladua 0, Elmejrab 0, Daquioag 0, Bangga 0.
Period Scores: 26-13, 50-39, 75-56, 97-89.
CEBUANA LHUILLIER (87) – Vosotros 26, Torres 15, Ferrer 11, Bautista 9, Lopez 8, Guinto 6, A. Mangahas 5, Enciso 2, Villahermosa 2, Arellano 2, Canlas 1, J. Mangahas 0, Sarangay 0.
MJM M-BUILDERS (72) – Belo 17, Khobuntin 15, Alolino 10, Tolomia 10, Pogoy 6, Cruz 5, Mendoza 3, Tesoro 3, Perez 2, Neypes 1, Jose 0, Alberto 0, Inigo 0, Remulla 0.
Period Scores: 25-22, 41-37, 61-53, 87-72.