PASIG CITY – Tanduay Rhum went through anxious moments before disposing of still winless Topstar ZC Mindanao, 84-81, at the 2016 PBA D-League Foundation Cup at the Ynares Sports Arena Thursday (June 30). The win temporarily put the Rhum Masters in Third Place with a 5-2 win-loss card.
Jaypee Belencion and Roider Cabrera swapped three-pointers to keep the score tied at 81-81 with 31 seconds remaining. The Aguilas then made a key defensive stop but JR Cawaling was slapped a technical foul for calling an excessive timeout.
Rudy Lingganay made the technical free throw to give the Rhum Masters the slight upper hand, 82-81, and five ticks on the clock. Cawaling tried to redeem himself for his miscue by driving strong to the hoop, only to see his shot miss the mark.
The Aguilas had no choice but to give up a quick foul, with Mark Tano tagging Lingganay who calmly made both his gift shots for the final count. With five triples already under his name, Robin Rono then fired from just past the midcourt line at the buzzer but a sixth triple was not meant to be as the Aguilas absorbed their sixth straight loss in the tournament.
“This game is an eye-opener for us, it’s good that we are learning our lesson while still winning,” said Coach Lawrence Chongson. “I saw no sense of urgency and overconfidence was setting in so we will use the coming two-week break to fix that.”
Lingganay led the Rhum Masters with 15 points, five rebounds and four assists. Louie Vigil, in his best game in a Tanduay jersey, scored 10 of his 14 points in the first period on top of nine rebounds.
Cawaling and Rono paced the Aguilas with 22 markers each. It was a tournament-high for Rono while Cawaling matched his personal record set in their 83-102 defeat to Racal Tiles last June 14.
As he exited the court, the serious Coach Chongson turned to his lighter side. “We made history as the first team to win under the Duterte administration,” he said with a grin.
How They Scored:
TANDUAY RHUM (84) – Lingganay 15, Vigil 14, Acuna 11, Belencion 10, Alolino 9, Javillonar 9, Gotladera 7, Mendoza 5, Santos 2, Celda 2, Enguio 0, Acibar 0, Tagarda 0, Stevens 0.
TOPSTAR ZC MINDANAO (81) – Cawaling 22, Rono 22, Ignacio 11, Jumao-as 10, Acosta 6, Cabrera 6, Garcia 3, Rivera 1, Argamino 0, Ongteco 0, Tano 0, Sarangay 0.
Period Scores: 17-16, 37-33, 59-60, 84-81.