The day of upsets continued as the Che’Lu-San Sebastian Revellers toppled top seed Akari-Adamson Soaring Falcons, 70-60 to steal Game 1 of their 2018 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup semifinals series at Pasig Sports Center.
Veterans Cedrick Ablaza and Jeff Viernes took charge for the Revellers as they were instrumental in snaring the shocker.
Ablaza, who came to the team from Batangas-EAC, made his imprint in the paint with 22 points, 12 of which coming in the third quarter, on top of four rebounds, and three steals, while Viernes tallied 16 markers, eight boards, and two assists in the big victory.
“Usually, pag ganitong level ng game, I go to the veterans na. Sila na yung nakapaglaro dito before at alam na nila yung dapat gawin,” said coach Stevenson Tiu, who took pride for the stupendous play of his late additions.
But more than the exploits of the veterans, it was Che’Lu-San Sebastian’s defense which propelled it to the 1-0 lead in the best-of-three series.
The Revellers silenced the Falcons from downtown as they only went 2-of-15 from threes, while only allowing four points in the payoff period.
“I know pressured sila kasi they’re the number one team. Kita naman sa start na talagang pinressure namin sila,” said Tiu.
Akari-Adamson’s leaders also had a hard time in the game, with Papi Sarr going 4-of-11 for his 12 points and 10 rebounds while Jerrick Ahanmisi shot 3-of-12 from the field to muster a measly nine-point, four-rebound, and three-assist performance.
Simon Camacho led the way for the Falcons with his 13 markers and six boards.
Game 2 is on Thursday at Ynares Sports Arena.
Che’Lu-San Sebastian 70 — Ablaza 22, Viernes 16, David 7, Taganas 6, Bulanadi 4, Costelo 4, De Leon 4, Batino 3, Ilagan 2, Siruma 2, Collado 0, Faundo 0.
Akari-Adamson 60 — Camacho 13, Sarr 12, Ahanmisi 9, Lastimosa 9, Mojica 8, Manganti 4, Espeleta 3, Catapusan 2, Bernardo 0, Pingoy 0, Zaldivar 0.
Quarterscores: 24-16, 34-35, 61-56, 70-60.