SAN JUAN City – Tanduay Rhum leaned on the clutch plays of veteran center Pari Llagas and rookie shooter Von Pessumal to frustrate AMA Online Education, 92-83, at the 2016 PBA D-League Aspirants Cup Tuesday (February 16) at the San Juan Arena. This marks the Rhum Masters’ third win in a row after dropping their first two games.
Llagas scored nine of his game-best 18 points in the fourth period, including five free throws that kept the Titans at bay. Pessumal registered a personal high of 16 points capped a dagger triple that gave Tanduay an 87-80 cushion with 1:06 remaining on the clock.
“This win is important because we want to catch up with the top four teams, a loss would have fatal,” said Coach Lawrence Chongson, as he cuddled his baby daughter in the post-game game press conference. “We had a favorable schedule but we will face a test in our next game against CafeFrance.”
Jerramy King paced the Titans with 18 points and six rebounds. Jam Jamito was next with 14 points and nine rebounds as AMA absorbed their fourth straight loss and join the ZC Mindanao Aguilas at the bottom of the table.
CafeFrance remained the only undefeated team and raised their win total to five games after steamrolling Wang’s Basketball in the day’s opener, 106-73. The Bakers scored the last eight points of the first half to pull ahead for good, 44-37.
While Wang’s managed to stage several mini runs and threaten, the Bakers’ firepower proved to be too much to bear. By the fourth period, Wang’s collapsed as the Bakers outscored them, 36-19.
The Bakers’ fifth win put them in good position for a top four spot and a twice-to-beat advantage in the first round of the playoffs, but Coach Edgar Macaraya thinks otherwise. “Anything can happen and we still have a long way to go so we just see to it that the players improve every game especially the young players from Centro Escolar,” said Coach Macaraya.
Mar Villahermosa led CafeFrance’s onslaught with eight of his 15 points in the fourth period. Carl Bryan Cruz followed with 13 as five other Bakers scored in double figures, including Best Player of the Game Alvin Abundo who had 11 points to go with eight rebounds and eight assists.
Mark Romero paced Wang’s with 18 points. Macky Acosta backed him with 13 points and six rebounds as Wang’s fell to 1-4.
The bottom four teams will tangle in critical games that might dictate their playoff future this Thursday (February 18) at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City. Banco de Oro-NU meets the winless Aguilas at 2:00 PM followed by Wang’s versus AMA at 4:00 PM.
How They Scored:
CAFEFRANCE-CEU (106) – Villahermosa 15, Cruz 13, Manlangit 12, Ebondo 12, Casino 11, Abundo 11, de Leon 10, Opiso 9, Arim 6, Jeruta 4, Zamar 3, Celso 0, Anunciacion 0.
WANG’S BASKETBALL (73) – Romero 18, Acosta 13, Mangahas 11, Publico 8, Tumalip 6, Bautista 6, Munsayac 3, Ilad 3, Cabahug 2, Cueto 2, Banal 1, Jo. Montemayor 0, Je. Montemayor 0.
Period Scores: 22-12, 44-37, 70-54, 106-73.
TANDUAY RHUM (92) – Llagas 18, Pessumal 16, Celda 13, Javillonar 9, Belencion 8, Wetherell 6, Eriobu 6, Tagarda 6, Lingganay 5, Santos 3, Cenal 1, Gotladera 1, Koga 0, Lo 0.
AMA ONLINE (83) – King 18, Jamito 14, McCarthy 13, Tampus 13, de Leon 8, Mendoza 6, Arambulo 4, Castro 3, Duncil 2, Alberto 2, Cariaga 0, dela Cruz 0, Hernandez 0, Carpio 0.
Period Scores: 20-21, 42-36, 63-56, 92-83.