The ChaDao-FEU Tamaraws booked the last Foundation Group ticket to the 2019 PBA D-League playoffs, outlasting the Centro Escolar University Scorpions, 74-69, Thursday at JCSGO Gym in Cubao.
“Our goal is to make it to the playoffs and nakuha na namin ang first goal namin,” said coach Olsen Racela.
The Tamaraws leaned on L-Jay Gonzales, who collected 15 points, five rebounds, five assists, and three steals to lead his side to the victory and end the eliminations on a four-game win streak.
Wendell Comboy added 13 points, four boards, two assists, and two steals. Meanwhile, Joseph Nunag got 12 points, three rebounds, and two assists in the win.
Chadao-FEU wound up with a 6-3 card, eliminating Marinerong Pilipino (5-4) in the process.
The Tamaraws now brace for Aspirants Group top seed Cignal-Ateneo (8-1), who own a twice-to-beat advantage, in the crossover quarters set on Monday.
Chadao-FEU squandered a 69-58 lead within the last five minutes, as Judel Fuentes and Maodo Malick Diouf rallied CEU back to knot the score at 69 in the last 2:08.
Branrey Bienes would answer back with a trey. Patrick Tchuente then put the nail in the coffin with a putback slam to extend the lead to five.
Fuentes carried CEU (7-2) with 24 points and four rebounds, while Diouf registered a double-double with his 11 points, 11 rebounds, three steals, and two blocks.
The Scorpions still enjoy a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarters, but their opponent still depends on the result of the Valencia City Bukidnon-SSCR versus Diliman College-Gerry’s Grill game later.
Chadao-FEU 74 — Gonzales 15, Comboy 13, Nunag 12, Tchuente 9, Flores 8, Stockton 6, Bienes 5, Celzo 4, Tuffin 2, Mantua 0.
CEU 69 — Fuentes 24, Diouf 11, Rojas 10, Formento 6, Chan 6, Lisbo 5, Ke. Caballero 4, Uri 3, Sunga 0, Diaz 0, Abastillas 0, Santos 0, Intic 0.
Quarterscores: 13-20, 41-41, 60-56, 74-69.