PASIG CITY – The Cagayan Valley Rising Suns advanced to the semifinals of the 2015 PBA D-League Foundation Cup via a 107-103 overtime thriller against the AMA University Titans Monday (June 1) at the Ynares Sports Arena. Earlier, the Jumbo Plastic Linoleum Giants forced a winner-take-all showdown against the Hapee Fresh Fighters, 87-83.
Don Trollano scored the last seven points for the Rising Suns in the extra period to erase AMA’s three-point lead and settle the final tally. Jerramy King hit a triple and James Martinez scored on a layup to give the Titans their last hold on the lead, 103-100, and 1:45 to play.
That was the cue for Trollano to knock down a triple, followed by a basket and two free throws. His heroics atoned for his miscues in the waning seconds of regulation that cost Cagayan the chance to win the game outright.
Trollano failed to shatter the 96-96 deadlock as Jay-R Taganas grabbed the defensive rebound and quickly called a timeout. Given 10 seconds, King took too long to execute as his hurried shot missed at the buzzer.
The Titans looked good as they overturned their 47-56 halftime deficit behind the 16 points of King, including a desperation heave at the buzzer that knotted the score at 79-79. King would end up with a new single game record of 40 points on top of four points, four assists and two steals.
Trollano churned out a team high 31 points plus 10 rebounds and five assists. Michael Mabulac supported him well with 25 points and 17 rebounds.
“We want to prove that we can be the champion even without our coach,” said Trollano, who was referring to Coach Alvin Pua who was banned for life and fined PHP 500,000.00 for punching a referee last May 14 against the LiverMarin Guardians. This marks the second straight win by the Rising Suns since the loss of their head coach who has assigned the coaching reins to assistant coach Toto Dojillo.
Up next for Cagayan Valley will be the second seed CaféFrance Bakers in a best-of-three series. The Bakers flattened the Rising Suns, 86-80, last April 6.
The top seed Cebuana Lhuillier Gems will have to wait a little longer for their opponent in the other semifinal series after the fifth seed Giants masterful win. The deciding game between Jumbo Plastic and Hapee will be on June 4 (Thursday) at the Ynares Sports Arena starting at 3:00 PM with both semifinal series immediately starting play on June 8 (Monday).
Trailing 46-53 after Baser Amer made a free throw off a technical foul on Coach Stevenson Tiu for excessive complaining, the Giants suddenly caught fire and went on a dizzying 21-0 run led by big men Jeymo Eguilos and Tristan Perez for a 67-53 advantage. The Giants held the Fresh Fighters scoreless for five minutes until Hapee’s Nico Elorde was fouled at the buzzer and promptly made all his three free throws, 56-67.
Jumbo’s effort almost went to waste as Hapee seized back the upper hand, 79-78, via an Ola Adeogun free throw off Eguilos at the 1:45 mark. Still, the Giants slowly crept back with Andrew Avillanoza completing a three-point play off Troy Rosario followed by a Jiovani Jalalon steal that resulted in Glenn Khobuntin soaring for an easy layup, 83-82, and 20 ticks on the clock.
Adeogun would then turnover the ball, forcing Art de la Cruz to foul Jalalon who calmly made his two charities for more cushion, 85-82. Avillanoza then fouled Adeogun in the ensuing sequence, with the Hapee center making his first free throw but intentionally missed his second but the rebound was tapped to the streaking Philip Paniamogan for the layup and the fitting finish to the well-played contest.
“We wanted to prove that our elimination round win over Hapee was not a lucky win and that we belong to the top four teams in the league,” said Coach Tiu. Meanwhile, Khobuntin praised his newly-signed teammates Jalalon and Khasim Mirza who were a big boost to their campaign.
Khobuntin and Eguilos paced the Giants with 13 points each and a combined 14 rebounds. Jalalon and Mirza had a combined 23 points.
Art de la Cruz led Hapee with 26 points, 18 made in the first half. Amer was next with 21 points and nine assists whil Adeogun also had good numbers with 17 points and 18 rebounds.
How They Scored:
JUMBO PLASTIC (87) – Eguilos 13, Khobuntin 13, Paniamogan 12, Mirza 12, Perez 12, Jalalon 11, Villamor 5, Avillanoza 5, Mandani 4, Sanga 0, Arellano 0.
HAPEE (83) – de la Cruz 26, Amer 21, Adeogun 17, Newsome 6, Rosario 4, Villahermosa 3, Elorde 3, Koga 2, Sorela 1, Gamboa 0, Long 0, Mendoza 0.
Period Scores: 19-17, 34-43, 67-56, 87-83.
CAGAYAN VALLEY (107) – Trollano 31, Mabulac 25, Melano 13, Dilay 11, Tayongtong 6, Galliguez 5, Rogado 4, Magat 4, Santos 4, Austria 2, Celada 2, Salamat 0.
AMA (103) – King 40, Martinez 18, Maiquez 15, Taganas 11, Asuncion 10, Tampus 9, Terso 0, Angeles 0, Jordan 0.
Period Scores: 27-25, 56-47, 79-79, 96-96 (reg.), 107-103 (OT).