The McDavid-La Salle Araneta Stallions ended their 2019 PBA D-League Second Conference campaign on a winning note with a 94-90 conquest of Black Mamba Energy Drink Monday at Paco Arena in Manila.
Nigerian center Henry Iloka led the Stallions with 25 points, 19 rebounds, and three blocks in the win that concluded their run in the developmental ranks with a 2-4 record.
Jonas Briones supplied 15 points, while Macky Acosta and Jobert Medina provided 14 markers apiece.
“First of all, good for us na nanalo kami. Sabi ko nga sa kanila, magandang makuha namin to for them din para preparation na rin namin sa NAASCU,” said coach Michael Gonzales.
The Stallions, though, had to avert a meltdown first before walking away with the narrow four-point win.
McDavid-La Salle Araneta already had a comfortable 13-point lead, 89-76, with 2:36 to go in the game. Unfortunately, Black Mamba then rallied and knocked to within just four, 94-90, with only 4.9 seconds left.
Luckily for the Stallions, the Energy Drink could not buy any more baskets, thus sealing the match in their favor.
Bobby Balucanag had 20 points and 11 rebounds to lead Black Mamba, who finished the eliminations at 3-3.
PJ Barua also had 20 points, while Dahrell Caranguian chimed in 19 points and 11 rebounds in the loss.
The Energy Drink will still advance to the quarterfinals, where they go up against a Group B 2-seed Technological Institute of the Philippines, which is armed with a twice-to-beat advantage, on Monday.
McDavid-La Salle Araneta 94 — Iloka 25, Briones 15, Acosta 14, Media 14, Bautista 8, Pena 6, Mangahas 4, Doroteo 2, Esteban 2, Correche 2, Lorenzo 2, Balbuena 0, Batungbakal 0.
Black Mamba 90 –– Balucanag 20, Barua 20, Caranguian 19, Carongoy 9, Gadon 8, Tayongtong 6, Vidal 4, Castro 4, Bolos 0, Medina 0, Boholano 0, Sison 0, Vitug 0.
Quarterscores: 10-9, 28-22, 55-48, 94-90.