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Tiebreaker Times

Basketball

Cafe France edges Racal for share of D-League top spot


Defending PBA D-League Foundation Cup champions Cafe France Bakers almost blew a big lead early but managed to survive and defeat the Racal Tile Masters, 83-79 Thursday in the 2016 PBA D-League Foundation Cup at the JCSGO Seed Dome in Quezon City.

Rodrigue Ebondo scored 15 points and grabbed six rebounds to lead Cafe France, which improved to 2-0 in the conference to tie Phoenix. Racal dropped to 1-1. Aaron Jeruta added 12 points while Paul Zamar chipped in 10 points.

The Bakers stunned the Tile Masters in the opening quarter, taking a commanding 20-1 lead on the strength of four triples. The Bakers kept the Tile Masters at bay until the fourth quarter, before the latter fought back using a fullcourt trap.

Back to back baskets by Billy Ray Robles pulled Racal within 72-71, but Samboy De Leon hit two free throws and Zamar made a three to push Cafe France’s lead to 77-72.

Raphael Banal scored an and-one after while Philip Paniamogan converted from long range to once again cut the deficit down to one, 80-79 but Jeruta and Mon Abundo sealed the victory with three free throws even as Racal fired blanks in the end.

“Hinabol nila kami, I guess the boys showed character. Ayaw nila magpatalo. Nagulat namin sila sa first quarter, which is very hard yun na hahabulin nila,” Cafe France head coach Egay Macaraya said. “At the last part nagka-foul trouble, so I guess it is all about character.”

Cafe France survived three players fouling out, and 24 turnovers.

“Suwerte na lang, nagstep-up pa yung bench ko. Hopefully ma-overcome next time tung laging nahahabol yung mga bata,” Macaraya added.

#ReadMore  Cafe France-CEU wins shootout over Phoenix-FEU for top spot

Paniamogan had 24 points on 7-for-11 shooting to lead Racal. Raphael Banal tallied 13 points.

The Scores:

Cafe France (83) – Ebondo 15, Jeruta 12, Zamar 10, Parala 9, Opiso 8, Villahermosa 8, Abundo 6, Cruz 6, Casino 5, Manlangit 4, De Leon 0.

Racal (79) – Paniamogan 24, Banal 13, Grey 10, Maiquez 7, Celiz 5, Gabawan 4, Javier 4, Ortuoste 3, Terso 3, Ruaya 1, Corpuz 0, McCarthy 0.

Quarterscores: 27-14, 38-27, 60-51, 83-79.

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