PASIG CITY – CafeFrance-CEU opened the formal defense of its PBA D-League Foundation Cup title on a high note with a clinical 89-64 annihilation of Topstar ZC Mindanao Thursday afternoon (June 2) at the Ynares Sports Arena. The Bakers looked to settle the issue as early as possible, preventing the Aguilas to take flight.
Starters Mar Villahermosa and Carl Bryan Cruz set the tone for the game and Jason Opiso came off the bench to add five more points as the Bakers easily took the first period, 20-9. The best the Aguilas could do was tie the score 2-2.
CafeFrance stretched their lead further by haftime, 43-24, but the Aguilas showed some signs of life by going on a 12-0 run in the third period that put them at their closest, 39-45. The Bakers snuffed the rally with five straight points by Paul Zamar and a basket by Cruz, 52-39.
“When Mindanao went on their run, I purposely did not call a timeout because I wanted the players to learn how to solve their problem,” said Coach Edgar Macaraya. “We will take this conference one game at a time and hope to improve every game.”
Coach Macaraya’s tactics seemed to work as the Bakers proceeded to lead by as much as 28 points late in the final period, 86-58. “This is a new conference, we are setting aside what happened last time,” he added, referring to the Bakers’ defeat in the recent Aspirants Cup finals to Phoenix Petroleum-FEU.
Cruz led all scorers with 21 points via three triples to go with four rebounds. Zamar also had three triples for 17 points and five assists as the Bakers hit a total of 12 out of their 40 triple attempts.
Gino Jumao-as and Dexter Garcia paced the Aguilas with 11 markers apiece. Roider Cabrera and RJ Argamino both had nine points, all made during mopping up time in the fourth period.
How They Scored:
CAFEFRANCE-CEU (89) – Cruz 21, Zamar 17, de Leon 12, Ebondo 11, Opiso 7, Villahermosa 6, Casino 6, Abundo 6, Jeruta 2, Manlangit 1, Arim 0, Cortes 0.
TOPSTAR ZC MINDANAO (64) – Jumao-as 11, Garcia 11, Cabrera 9, Argamino 9, Cawaling 8, Ignacio 6, Sarangay 6, Ongteco 4, Acosta 0, Rivera 0, Rono 0, Tano 0, Dadjilul 0.
Period Scores: 20-9, 43-24, 59-43, 89-64.