BINAN CITY – Struggling for form in the first half, Mac Belo got his game going in the second half as he powered Phoenix Petroleum in taking Game One of the 2016 PBA D-League Foundation Cup Finals over Tanduay Rhum, 84-76, at the Alonte Sports Arena Thursday (August 18). Aside from Belo, several other Accelerators stepped up and gave their share.
The seesaw battle saw the Rhum Masters taste the lead for the last time on a drive to the basket by Reden Celda with 6:11 to play, 67-66, before the Phoenix big guns came in one by one. Mike Tolomia restored the lead for good with a basket followed by a Belo triple, a three-point play by Roger Pogoy and Ed Daquioag capped the 10-0 run with an acrobatic shot that sent Tanduay reeling with three minutes remaining, 76-67.
Tanduay though would threaten one last time through four points by Jovet Mendoza at the 55-second mark, 76-80. However, Daquioag scored and Belo completed his second half brilliance with two free throws off Mendoza’s sixth foul with 17 ticks left for the final tally.
“I told the players that Tanduay claims to be the thirstier team but they answered back by saying that they are thirstier,” said Coach Eric Gonzales. “Tanduay is not an easy team to play against because they are a combination of veterans and collegiate key players.”
Limited to only three points in the first half, Belo tallied 12 in the third and 15 in the fourth period to finish with 30 points on top of 14 rebounds and three assists. Roger Pogoy typified the Accelerators’ strong start with 10 of his 22 points in the first period.
“Belo will always be Belo, he refused to give up,” added Coach Gonzales. “We will take a break before resuming our preparation for Game Two.”
Celda paced the Rhum Masters with 15 points. His starting backcourt partner Rudy Lingganay added 13 points.
Game Two will be on Tuesday (August 23) again at Alonte. The Accelerators will be shooting for their second straight championship after capturing the Aspirants Cup earlier this year with Belo emerging as the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.
How They Scored:
PHOENIX PETROLEUM (84) – Belo 30, Pogoy 22, Tolomia 12, Mendoza 7, Daquioag 7, Escoto 2, Andrada 2, Colina 2, Inigo 0, Batino 0, Tamsi 0, Jamito 0.
TANDUAY RHUM (76) – Celda 15, Lingganay 13, Ferrer 10, Eguilos 10, Mendoza 10, Alolino 6, Santos 4, Belencion 3, Tagarda 3, Acuna 2, Javillonar 0.
Period Scores: 21-22, 40-40, 58-57, 84-76.