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Caida avoid late-game collapse to Wang’s

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Coming from a highly emotional win against the Mindanao Aguilas, the Wangs Basketball Couriers were looking to upset the highly-favored Caida Tile Masters Tuesday afternoon.

The Couriers were able to keep the game close for a good 46 minutes. However, the Tile Masters displayed better end-game execution that gave them their third win in as many games, 110-106, in the 2016 PBA D-League Aspirants Cup Tournament.

The two teams were neck-and-neck in the first half. Jio Jalalon and Jason Perkins paced the Caida to a 52-47 lead in combining for 18 first half points. Moreover, the deep Caida bench supported the duo, with Jonathan Grey putting up seven points and Chris Javier grabbing six points and three boards. However, John Montemayor was unstoppable on the block during the half, scoring 16 points on 7/8 shooting, while Sharpshooter Clark Bautista was on-point, converting on three triples to keep Wangs in the game.

Caida were able to open the third canto with a huge 12-0 rally to extend their lead to 60-47 behind Grey and Rey Nambatac. The lead ballooned to a game-high 15 points, 65-50. The Couriers fought back to close out the quarter, capped by a buzzer-beating triple by Francis Munsayac to end the quarter down six, 77-71.

Rey Publico, not known for his three-point shooting, was able to knock down a triple and score on a three-point play to open the final frame. The two teams then exchanged baskets, with the Tile Masters clinging on to a single digit lead. With Caida up 96-89 after a Jalalon find to Grey for a corner three, Gwynne Capacio posted Nambatac in a mismatch, and converted on a hoop and the harm. A turnover by Caida then led to a three-pointer by James Mangahas to cut the Caida lead to just a solitary point, 96-95, with 2:50 left.

After a split by Billy Robles on the stripe, Mangahas was able to find John Montemayor deep in the post. Javier had no choice but to foul the big man, resulting in two free throw conversions to tie the game. In the next possession, Grey drove to the basket, sucking in three defenders, and threw a behind the back pass to a wide-open Perkins for a three that broke the deadlock, 100-97. Perkins then converted on two free throws in the next possession. Francis Munsayac quickly ran past the defense for a quick layup but Jalalon answered right back with a floater and two free throws.

With 55 seconds left, Publico scored on a three-point play and sent Perkins packing due to six fouls. Unfortunately for Wangs, even with Jalalon and Grey missing, they could not secure a rebound. Late-game free throws gave Caida a 110-106 win to stay perfect in the tournament.

“This also happened in our game against AMA. We were up 20 points and it got down to 20,” Caloy Garcia said after the game. “Today we were fortunate that Jayson hit that three and then they committed a turnover. The good thing about it is that when we play close games, we get to learn and mature.”

Jio Jalalon was the high point man for Caida with 22 points. In addition, he dished out nine assists and stole the ball twice in a great all-around performance. Garcia, though, said that the Arellano senior still needs to be consistent at all times. “I think he still has to improve on his consistency. There was a time and we were up, medyo nag-relax,” the Caida mentor said about Jalalon. “Sa line-up kasi namin, whoever comes in dapat you give a 100%. Gusto ko napapagod sila. If they don’t get tired, they’re not working hard.”

2016 PBA D-League second pick Jayson Perkins also had his best outing for the Tile Masters so far, grabbing a double-double with 19 points and 14 boards. Jonathan Grey also scored in double-figures with 17 points.

For Wangs, Francis Munsayac, John Montemayor, and James Mangahas all scored 18 points each. Montemayor was 7/10 from the field while Mangahas grabbed 11 boards in the loss.

The Caida Tile Masters (3-0) will next face the Cafe France Bakers on Thursday, February 11 at 4:00pm in a battle of the unbeatens. On the same day, the Wangs Basketball Couriers (1-2) look to bounce back against the Tanduay Rhum Masters at 2:00pm.

The Scores:
Caida Tiles (110) – Jalalon 22, Perkins 19, Grey 17, Javier 10, Robles 10, Nambatac 9, Maiquez 8, Gabawan 4, Terso 4, Lozada 3, Lozada 3, Cabrera 2, Pascual 2, Corpuz 0, Pasculado 0.
Wangs (106) – Mangahas 18, Montemayor Jo 18, Munsayac 18, Publico 15, Capacio 12, Bautista 9, Ilad 5, Vinjandre 4, Namocatcat 3, Tumalip 3, Banal 1, Asuncion 0, Cueto 0, Montemayor Je 0, Pascual 0.
Quarterscores: 28-24, 52-47, 77-71, 110-106.

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