Cameroonian big man Rod Ebondo showed his might as he lifted the Cafe France Bakers past the Racal Tile Masters, 78-72, Tuesday in the 2016 PBA D-League Foundation Cup Tuesday at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
The Congolese center made mincemeat of his Tile Master counterparts as he registered a double-double of 22 points and 15 rebounds, helping the Bakers’ record improve to a 5-1 slate.
“The boys played good defense. Racal is a very good offensive team, but maganda ang nilaro ng mga bata and they cannot stop Ebondo,” Cafe France head coach Egay Macaraya said, as Cafe France ended Racal’s three-game winning streak.
The Bakers also clamped down on defense, limiting the Tile Masters, to just 72 points, far off from their average of 99.8 points per game.
Mon Abundo chipped in 16 markers and four boards, while Carl Bryan Cruz had 13 points before being ejected for elbowing Dexter Maiquez at the 5:41 mark of the third quarter.
Cafe France held a 75-65 lead with 1:41 remaining courtesy of an Aaron Jeruta basket, but Racal stayed in the game and sliced the deficit to just three, 75-72 after a Chris Javier jumper with 55.0 seconds left.
Former Tile Master Mike Parala, however, saved the day for the Bakers as he nailed a banking jumper to push his team up, 77-72, with 18.3 seconds left.
Jonathan Grey carried Racal (4-2) with 12 points, two rebounds, and two assists, while Philip Paniamogan had 11 markers in the loss.
Cafe France (78) – Ebondo 22, Abundo 16, Cruz 13, Jeruta 5, Manlangit 5, Opiso 4, Parala 4, Zamar 4, Arim 3, Villahermosa 2, Casino 0.
Racal (72) – Grey 12, Paniamogan 11, Javier 10, Maiquez 9, Terso 9, Celiz 5, Banal 4, Gabawan 4, Ortuoste 3, Robles 3, Ruaya 2, Corpuz 0, Neypes 0.
Quarterscores: 20-15, 38-31, 58-56, 78-72.