BACOOR CITY – We will have a new champion as Phoenix Petroleum ousted defending champion CafeFrance-CEU, 89-78, at the 2016 PBA D-League Foundation Cup semifinals at the STRIKE Gym Tuesday (August 16). Mike Tolomia was all over the court as he churned out another magical performance to send the Accelerators to their second straight championship series appearance.
Tolomia went to work early and scattered eight points in the first period to push Phoenix ahead after the first period, 27-18. The Bakers then staged an 11-0 run to threaten, 38-39, and that was the best that they could do as Phoenix countered with back-to-back triples from Russell Escoto and Tolomia for a 45-40 halftime cushion.
By the second half, Phoenix was humming on all cylinders as their lead suddenly ballooned to its largest in the fourth period, 80-62. CafeFrance could not find an answer as its usually reliable stars groped for points.
Tolomia set a new personal tournament high of 31 points to go with three rebounds and four assists. He received great support from Mac Belo with 15 points, Ed Daquioag with 12 and Roger Pogoy with 11.
“Mike is our take-charge guy and he even refused to be substituted,” said Coach Eric Gonzales of his prized guard. “He has the winner’s attitude that all players must have.”
Rodrigue Ebondo was the lone bright spot for the dethroned Bakers with 25 points and 19 rebounds. Alvin Abundo was the only other player in double figures with 10 points.
The Bakers forced a rubber match after winning last Thursday, 78-68. That marked the lowest output of Phoenix after averaging over a hundred markers in the elimination round.
The Accelerators will now wait for the winner of next game between top seed Racal Tiles and Tanduay Rhum. As expected, Coach Gonzales declined to name a preferred opponent while vowing that his team will prepare hard of either of the two.
How They Scored:
PHOENIX PETROLEUM (89) – Tolomia 31, Belo 15, Daquioag 12, Pogoy 11, Tamsi 9, Escoto 5, Andrada 2, Jamito 2, Mendoza 1, Batino 1, Inigo 0, Knuttel 0, Colina 0.
CAFEFRANCE-CEU (78) – Ebondo 25, Abundo 10, Cruz 7, Opiso 6, Jeruta 6, Zamar 5, Casino 5, de Leon 4, Manlangit 4, Custodio 4, Parala 2,
Period Scores: 27-19, 45-40, 71-58, 89-78.