SAN JUAN City – Banco de Oro-NU nailed a spot in the playoffs of the 2016 PBA D-League Aspirants Cup after crumpling Wang’s Basketball, 106-97, last Tuesday (March 1) at the San Juan Arena. Earlier, Caida Tiles mastered the ZC Mindanao Aguilas, 95-87, for a share of the league leadership with idle CafeFrance-CEU.
Playing a virtual knockout contest, the Bulldogs displayed great form that pleased Coach Eric Altamirano. “I’m happy how the team executed a methodical style of play today and that’s what we want to see,” said Coach Altamirano.
As Wang’s nursed a slim 93-92 advantage with 4:11 to go, Mohammad Salim and Paolo Javelona uncorked back-to-back triples to put BDO on top for good, 98-93. Overall, the intense second half saw a total of 15 deadlocks and 18 lead changes.
John Tayongtong threatened with a basket, 97-100, but Clark Bautista missed a chance to tie the game with triple that resulted in Alfred Aroga scoring in transition at the 28-second mark, 102-97. Aroga also drew a foul but missed his bonus free throw but it hardly mattered as BDO forced a pair of turnovers that led to easy layups for Javelona for the final tally.
“Scoring 106 points is very good plus as it shows that we are learning to shoot the ball plus the fact that we had more rebounds and assists than Wang’s,” added Coach Altamirano. J-Jay Alejandro powered BDO’s offensive display with 23 points followed by Aroga with 19 points to go with 12 rebounds.
James Mangahas paced Wang’s with 22 points followed by Macky Acosta who made 13 of his 16 points in the third period that ended in a 75-75 stalemate. At 1-7, Wang’s ended its schedule and now mired at the bottom of the standings while awaiting the outcome of the last two play dates to know if they will be part of the playoffs.
In contrast, Caida Tiles is already assured of a Top Four playoff berth and complacency almost cost them their game against the Aguilas, another squad fighting for their playoff lives. The Tile Masters easily took the first half, 43-36, but new recruit Eric Salamat and Kenneth Acibar joined forces for 25 of the Aguilas’ 36 third period points to turn the tide in their favor entering the final period, 72-66.
That was enough as Jonathan Grey sparked the Tile Masters’ rally with seven points and capped by a strong drive by Philip Paniamogan to tie the score and a booming go-ahead triple from Joseph Terso with 2:27 on the clock, 86-83. Proving to be a tough bunch, Robby Celiz completed a three-point with 51 seconds left, 87-88.
Playing so-so basketball for the first three periods, Jason Perkins struck when it mattered most as he drew a foul from Mark Sarangay in the ensuing sequence, sinking his first free throw. Perkins missed the second but Grey collared the offensive rebound and passed to the open Perkins for a dagger triple with 38 seconds to play, 92-87, as the Aguilas suddenly folded.
“Bad game today, there was no ball movement and the players tried to win the game as individuals,” said Coach Carlos Garcia. “Still, I give credit to the players for showing their character after that third period and coming back to win the game.”
The Tile Masters improved to 6-1 and are just waiting who will be their opponent in the playoffs where they will hold a twice-to-beat advantage. Coupled with BDO’s win, the Aguilas have no choice but to win their next game over Phoenix Petroleum-FEU to avoid elimination – a loss would put them in a tie with Wang’s but Wang’s holds the tiebreaker owing to their 97-88 overtime victory over the Aguilas last January 28.
Paniamogan was the high scorer for the Tile Masters with 18 points. Roider Cabrera supported him with 15 points off the bench as four other teammates chipped in double digits.
Salamat debuted with 21 points followed by Acibar with 15. After their torrid scoring pace in the third, the duo cooled down in the final period as they could only make four points each.
The penultimate day of the elimination round will be on Thursday (March 3) at the Ynares Sports Arena with the teams on tap seeking better playoff position. Co-leader CafeFrance battles Phoenix Petroleum in the main game at 4:00 PM after the 2:00 PM curtain raiser between QRS JAM Liner-UP and AMA Online Education.
How They Scored:
CAIDA TILES (95) – Paniamogan 18, Cabrera 15, Javier 13, Terso 12, Grey 11, Jalalon 10, Perkins 8, Gabawan 3, Robles 2, Parala 2, Ruaya 1, Lozada 0.
ZC MINDANAO (87) – Salamat 21, Acibar 15, Ongteco 14, Jumao-as 10, Garcia 7, Celiz 7, Ignacio 4, Sarangay 4, Julkipli 2, Villanueva 2, Rivera 1, Nalos 0, Argamino 0, Ferrer 0.
Period Scores: 23-17, 43-36, 66-72, 95-87.
BANCO DE ORO-NU (106) – Alejandro 23, Aroga 19, Javelona 15, Salim 14, Diputado 9, Salem 9, Labing-isa 6, Yu 4, Perez 4, Rono 3, Tansingco 0.
WANG’S BASKETBALL (97) – Mangahas 22, Acosta 16, Bautista 14, Romero 12, Ilad 11, Capacio 8, Jo. Montemayor 5, Munsayac 3, Cabahug 0.Tumalip 0, Ragasa 0.
Period Scores: 28-23, 44-43, 75-75, 106-97.