Fruitas extends streak; NLEX falls anew
MANILA, Philippines -- Fruitas combined youth and energy in the second overtime to outlast Blackwater Sports, 95-91, on Thursday in the PBA D-League Foundation Cup at the Ynares Arena.
Carlo Lastimosa scored 21 points while Russel Escoto and Bryan Cruz combined for 25 rebounds as the Shakers dominated the boards, 71-56, and stayed unbeaten after three games.
Cebuana Lhuillier also came out victorious, beating a sorely depleted NLEX team, 71-64, in the fist game to redeem themselves from Monday’s disheartening loss to the Shakers while EA Regens Med used a strong first half to dispatch Hog’s Breath, 83-58, late in the afternoon.
“Frankly, I don’t know how we pulled through. But the guys showed a lot of determination and I thought it made a difference,” said coach Eric Gonzales, who took over from head coach Nash Racela.
The Shakers opened the second overtime with 8-2 run and took the lead for good at 92-86 on Lastimosa’s basket with 1:59 remaining.
The Elite pulled within three on a 3-pointer by Allan Maangahas but they missed seven of their next eight attempts.
John Pinto scored 14 points, Escoto had 11 and Roger Pogoy added 10 for the Shakers, who had six players from FEU as backup crew.
Fruits had a chance to win the game in regulation but Cruz missed two hurried shots from 3-point range in the last 30 seconds. Anjo caram, who had eight points and five assists, forced the second extra session by scoring on a driving layup with 32 seconds left in the first overtime.
Allan Mangahas led all scorers with 22 points while Pari Llagas had 19 and 12 boards for the Elite, who picked up their first loss in three games in tied with the Gems.
Determined to redeem themselves after blowing a 22-point lead in their loss to Fruitas, the Gems played aggressive and never allowed the four-time champion NLEX to build momentum.
“That loss to Fruitas was a learning experience. We have forgotten it and moved on,” said Cebuana coach Beaujing Acot.
“Anytime you beat a champion team makes your confidence solid. Hopefully, we can build on this.”
Gab Banal scored 16 points and had 11 rebounds while Raymond Aguilar and June Dizon added 12 apiece for Cebuana, which dominated NLEX, 53-45, off the boards.
Interestingly, Cebuana snapped a a six-game losing skid against NLEX.
The loss of big men Ian Sanggalang and Greg Slaughter visibly hurt the Road Warriors and their woeful shooting made their plight even worse.
The defending champions lost Sanggalang, the best player of the conference of the Aspirants’ Cup, to newcomer EA Regen Med while Slaughter apparently has decided to play full time with Gilas Pilipinas.
“Right now we’ll be dealing with what we have. I have no plan of signing up a big man for a patch-up job,” said NLEX coach Boyet Fernandez.
“I really thought the absence of Sanggalang and Slaughter hurt them. In a way, it also made the competition balance,” Acot observed.
NLEX shot a woeful 27 percent (24 of 86) from the field but managed to keep the game close with their defense that forced the Gems to 19 turnovers.
After RR Garcia tied the game at 46 -46 with a 3-pointer, Gab Banal sank a free three then completed a three-point play as Cebuana entered the fourth with a 50-48 lead that stood the rest of the way.
Eric Camson scored 14 points and grab 11 boards but he was the only player in double digit for the Road Warriors, who fell to 0-2 (win-loss) record for the first time in the club’s history.
“We had a good start. Our defense clicked. But we still have to work on with our offense. It’s still rusty,” said coach Allan Trinidad, who called the shots for the team in the absence of head coach Vergel Meneses. Meneses skipped their first game to be his daughter Rica, who graduated from high school.
Jimbo Aquino scored 23 points while Ian Sanggalang had 12 for the Delta, who took a 45-35 lead at halftime then coasted the rest of the way.
Cebuana Lhuillier 71 – Banal 16, Aguilar 12, Dizon 12, Martinez 10, Zamar 8, Bautista 3, Buensuceso 3, Chiu 2, Padilla 2, Lopez 1, Elinon 0, Bustos 0.
NLEX 64 – Camson 14, Pascual J. 8, Lanete 8, Ganuelas 7, Long 6, Garcia 5, Pascual R. 4, Alas 4, Villarias 3, Salva 3, Herrmida 2, Amer 0.
Quarters: 15-17; 33-32; 50-48; 71-64
Fruitas 95 – Lastimosa 21, Pinto 14, Escoto 11, Pogoy 10, Cruz 9, Caram 8, Antonio 6, Tolomia 5, Escobal 4, Colina 3, Banal 0, Caperal 0.
Blackwater Sports 91 – Mangahas A. 22, Llagas 19, Chua 16, Vigil 10, Ferrer 10, Celiz 7, Pe 4, Suguitan 2, Austria 1, Bagatsing 0, Ciriacruz G. 0.
Quarters: 22-14; 37-32; 63-62; 77-77; 84-84; 95-91
EA Regens Med 83 – Aquino 23, Sanggalang 12, Apinan 11, Bautista 9, Tolentino 8, Miranda 7, Terso 5, Almazan 3, sanga 2, Maiquez 2, semkira 1, Juico 0, Santos 0, Vitug 0.
Hog’s Breath 58 – Racal 19, Roy 8, Belorio 7, Malinao 6, Pangilinan 6, Pacquiao 3, Cayabyab 3, Macasaet 3, Eman 2, Lima 1, Robles 0, Rabalo 0, Alguno 0, Morillo 0.
Quarters: 26-21; 45-35; 65-49; 83-58