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Racal finally breaks through


The Racal Tile Masters finally pierce through the semifinals veil

After two straight semifinals finishes, the Racal Tile Masters are into the last round of the 2017 PBA Aspirants Cup after surviving a Game 3 thriller against the Café France-Centro Escolar University Bakers, 78-74, Tuesday afternoon at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.

Kent Salado led Racal with 16 points on 7-for-12 shooting to go along with six rebounds and eight assists, while Sidney Onwubere added 10 points and seven rebounds. But it was the heroics of Allan Mangahas and Jackson Corpuz that made it possible.

“I trusted them,” said Racal head coach Jerry Codinera. “Buti na lang I picked the right players in the end game.”

The two emerged as the heroes for the Tile Masters as the veteran campaigners came up big in the final 1:29 of the game.

Corpuz nailed a huge three and an and-1 play to give Racal a 75-72 lead with 39.5 seconds left. Kent Salado found an open Mangahas for the dagger three with 4.3 ticks remaining to finally break the glass ceiling for the perennial semifinalists.

Mangahas finished the game with 15 points, while Corpuz pitched in nine markers.

The Bakers were limited to just a horrid 29 percent shooting clip compared to 37 percent for the Tile Masters as Racal converted on 10 triples of the game. Café France-CEU’s nightmarish shooting negated their 22-for-34 free throw shooting.

Rod Ebondo paced Cafe France-CEU with 26 points and 20 rebounds but went just 6-for-16 from the field. Incoming UP Fighting Maroons senior Paul Desiderio scored 16 points but needed 19 shots to do so.

#ReadMore  Christian Standhardinger returns, sets career-high to lead San Miguel past NLEX

Racal now await the winner of the Cignal-San Beda versus Tanduay series.

The Scores:

Racal (78) – Salado 16, Mangahas 15, Nambatac 11, Onwubere 10, Corpuz 9, Capacio 5, Dagangon 5, Cabrera 5, Flores 2, Torres 0, Terso 0, Gabayni 0, Gabawan 0.

Cafe France-CEU (74) – Ebondo 26, Desiderio 16, Sedurifa 11, Faundo 8, Calisaan 4, Jeruta 3, Manlangit 3, Casino 2, Arim 1, Wamar 0.

Quarterscores: 14-20, 32-34, 51-52, 78-74.

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