PASIG CITY – The Cagayan Valley Rising Suns and CaféFrance Bakers continued their steady climb up the standings of the 2015 PBA D-League Foundation Cup with a hard-earned victories Thursday (April 27) at the Ynares Sports Arena. The Rising Suns nipped the Tanduay Light Rhum Masters, 87-84, while the Bakers burned the AMA University Titans, 92-75.
Jason Melano scored on an unmolested undergoal shot off the inbound pass by Eric Salamat with 12 seconds left to shatter the game’s final deadlock and put the Rising Suns on top for good, 86-84. Roi Sumang then tried to salvage the game but his shot missed badly, forcing the Rhum Masters to foul Melano who split the accompanying free throws for the game’s final tally at the two-second mark.
“That play was really diagramed for (Andrian) Celada,” admitted Melano after the game. “I was open so they gave me the ball and I had to take the shot.”
It was a tough fight for Cagayan as Tanduay Light held a 48-45 advantage after the first half with Sumang and Aljon Mariano at the firing end. Celada and Randy Dilay then clicked at the right time by hitting the big shots that restored the upper hand to the Rising Suns entering the fourth period, 72-63.
Refusing to give up, the Rhum Masters clawed back behind an 8-0 run behind Sumang and Jaypee Belencion that returned Tanduay Light to the driver’s seat, 82-80, and 1:29 to play. Abel Galliguez then tied the game with a free throw split, 84-84, but Adrian Santos mishandled the offensive rebound off the second attempt to return possession to the Rising Suns and set the stage for Melano’s heroics.
Don Trollano powered the Rising Suns with 18 points, 14 coming in the first half, to go with seven rebounds. Michael Mabulac also had a solid outing with 15 points and nine rebounds for Cagayan Valley’s third straight win and a 4-2 win-loss card good for Third Place.
The Rhum Masters absorbed their fourth straight loss after winning their first game despite the 25-point explosion of Sumang. Joseph Eriobu and new acquisition Kris Rosales were next with nine markers each.
In the first game, the Bakers bucked another slow start to put away the Titans via the combined 54-point offensive outburst of Samboy de Leon and Jam Cortes. The Bakers defense allowed Jerramy King to notch 10 points in the first period and the Titans stormed ahead, 20-18.
Having seen enough, the Bakers buckled down to work as frontline stalwarts Cortes and Rod Ebondo wreaked havoc on their smaller and leaner AMA counterparts. The Bakers then blew the game wide open in the third period and led by as high as 20 markers, 66-46, with the Titans managing to cough out a measly 10 points.
De Leon and Cortes both finished with 27 points and a combined 15 rebounds. Also making big contributions was Joseph Sedurifa who knocked in six of his 12 points during the crucial third period rampage.
After his 10-point first period, King could only add eight points but still emerged as AMA’s top scorer. James Martinez and Jay-R Taganas followed with 14 points each with Taganas hauling 12 rebounds.
The win was the Bakers’ fifth in a row for a 5-1 card and provisional Second Place. CaféFrance and Cagayan Valley trail undefeated league leader Cebuana Lhuillier (6-0) by one and two games respectively.
How They Scored:
CAFÉFRANCE (92) – de Leon 27, Cortes 27, Sedurifa 12, Ebondo 9, Abundo 5, Batino 4, Jeruta 2, Celso 2, Ahanmisi 2, Andrada 2, Galanza 0, Miranda 0, Noble 0.
AMA (75) – King 18, Martinez 14, Taganas 14, Maiquez 11, Camasura 6, Asuncion 6, Angeles 2, Dizon 2, Jordan 2, Rosales 0, Sison 0, Diswe 0.
Period Scores: 18-20, 43-38, 66-48, 92-75.
CAGAYAN VALLEY (87) – Trollano 18, Mabulac 15, Celada 13, Salamat 9, Melano 9, Galliguez 8, Dilay 5, Tayongtong 5, Rogado 2, Magat 2, Santos 1, Austria 0, Flores 0, Palma 0.
TANDUAY LIGHT (84) – Sumang 25, Rosales 9, Eriobu 9, Belencion 8, Escueta 8, Mariano 7, Santos 5, Tagarda 4, Ilagan 4, Rono 3, Jumao-as 2.
Period Scores: 22-27, 45-48, 72-63, 87-84.