It was supposed to be a redemption story for a collection of all-stars that San Beda College had beaten throughout the years. But the Bedans and their reinforcements had none of it.
The Cignal-San Beda HD Hawkeyes escaped with an 81-78 win against the Racal Tile Masters to win the 2017 PBA D-League Aspirants Cup, Thursday evening at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
The win gave coach Boyet Fernandez his seventh D-League crown.
Leading the way for the HD Hawkeyes was none other than incoming San Beda senior Javee Mocon. The resident of Cainta, Rizal scored 14 of his 25 points in the final frame while adding seven rebounds, two steals, and a block to his line.
“He picked up where he left off and he did a good job. He’s been very positive for us and today, he stepped up big for us,” said coach Boyet Fernandez.
Jason Perkins also dropped 21 markers, five boards, and three blocks, while Conference MVP Robert Bolick got 14 points, six assists, and four rebounds for the Hawkeyes.
“I still believe on our team work. If not for the boys, we’ll not win this one. We didn’t give up,” said Fernandez.
Cignal bucked a poor start and clawed back from a 13-point deficit, 42-29, before eventually knotting the score at 48 with a hot 13-5 run to open the second half.
That set up the cardiac finish, with Mocon leading his squad in the last seven minutes and giving his side a 75-70 lead in the final 3:48.
Jackson Corpuz willed Racal back and got within one, 79-78 with 36.3 seconds remaining, but Bolick would knock down his pair of free throws to push his side up three, 81-78 with 4.4 ticks left. The Tile Masters still had a chance to force overtime, but Rey Nambatac missed his trey at the buzzer.
Cignal-San Beda were able to force 15 turnovers from Racal that led to 25 points. Moreover, they knocked down eight three-pointers in the game that negated the better shooting of the Tile Masters.
Jackson Corpuz paced Racal with 24 pointso n 8-of-20 shooting to go along with nine rebounds. Joseph Gabayni and Gwyne Capacio combined for 30 markers to make up for the cold night for Rey Nambatac and Kent Salado, who combined for just 12 points.
The Foundation Cup will open on May 25.
Cignal-San Beda (81) – Mocon 25, Perkins 21, Bolick 14, Raymundo 13, Batino 4, Villarias 2, Bringas 0, Potts 0, Arboleda 0, Oftana 0.
Racal (77) – Corpuz 24, Gabayni 18, Capacio 12, Nambatac 8, Torres 8, Salado 4, Onwubere 2, Mangahas 2, Gabawan 0, Cabrera 0, Flores 0, Terso 0.
Quarterscores: 15-23, 35-43, 59-60, 81-78.