SAN JUAN City – The new-look Caida Tiles opened the 2016 PBA D-League Aspirants Cup on a high note by trouncing Tanduay Rhum, 90-79, Thursday (January 21) at the San Juan Arena. Formerly known as Racal Motors and KeraMix, the Tile Masters leaned on a strong finishing kick to carve out the victory.
From the game’s final deadlock at 68-68, Chris Javier scored followed by back-to-back triples from Janus Lozada and Roider Cabrera to give Caida a steady 76-68 edge with 3:52 remaining. Solid free throw shooting from Jiovani Jalalon and Billy Ray Robles preserved the win as Tanduay could only put up resistance through the one-man efforts of Ryan Wetherell.
“We are lucky to have our first win when everybody is adjusting,” said winning coach Carlos Garcia. “I see a wide open race this tournament.”
Jalalon led Caida’s attack with 17 points, five rebounds and nine assists. New recruit center Chris Javier followed with 16 points and seven rebounds.
Wetherell topped the Rhum Masters with 21 points, 10 made in the final period, to go with eight rebounds and six assists. Big men Pari Llagas and Joseph Eriobu followed with 11 markers apiece.
In the second game, QRS JAM Liner-UP banked on the solid plays of their reinforcements to trash Banco de Oro-NU, 90-85. Ironically, it was former National University Bulldog Raymond Aguilar who delivered the crucial plays down the stretch including a triple at the 26-second mark that stretched their lead, 89-85.
Aguilar, who also had a brief PBA stint with Talk ‘N Text, then canned a free throw off Alfred Aroga’s sixth foul to settle the final count. He then went on to seal the deal with a defensive rebound after a failed UP offensive.
“Playing in this league is good for the UP players,” said QRS JAM team consultant Joe Ward. “We are just adjusting to the new rules and I like the tournament format.”
BDO actually went on a 10-0 blitz to open the second period and erect their biggest lead of the game, 33-15. But with Paul Desiderio and Jong Baloria combining for 15 points, the Maroon managed to close in by halftime, 38-43.
Desiderio scored 24 points in 26 minutes of action on top of five rebounds and three steals to lead the Maroons. Aguilar had a double-double of 18 points and 13 rebounds.
J-Jay Alejandro was the high man for BDO with 21 points and five rebounds. Paolo Javelona was next with 13 points, five rebounds and five assists.
Action shifts to the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City on Monday (January 25) with Foundation Cup champion CafeFrance-CEU testing newcomer ZC Mindanao Aguilas at 2:00 PM. The main game will have Phoenix Petroleum-FEU against returning Wang’s Basketball at 4:00 PM.
How They Scored:
CAIDA TILES (90) – Jalalon 17, Javier 16, Robles 14, Cabrera 9, Terso 7, Perkins 6, Maiquez 6, Lozada 4, Ruaya 4, Grey 3, Pasculado 2, Gabawan 2.
TANDUAY (79) – Wetherell 21, Eriobu 11, Llagas 11, Celda 9, Lingganay 8, Pessumal 6, Gotladera 4, Javillonar 3, Tagarda 3, Santos 2, Cenal 1, Belencion 0.
Period Scores: 28-23, 50-46, 64-62, 90-79.
QRS JAM LINER-UP (90) – Desiderio 24, Aguilar 18, Baloria 16, Alolino 11, Ferrer 8, Batino 6, Soyud 5, Moralde 2, Dario 0, Asilum 0, Vito 0, Harris 0, Neypes 0.
BANCO DE ORO-NU (85) – Alejandro 21, Javelona 13, Tansingco 10, Aroga 10, Rono 10, Salem 8, Labing-isa 4, Perez 4, Salim 3, Diputado 2, Yu 0.
Period Scores: 15-23, 38-43, 66-63, 90-85.