It will be a do-or-die Tuesday in the 2016 PBA D-League Foundation Cup semifinals. Both Café France and Tanduay forced winner-take-all games to extend their respective series on Thursday at Strike Gym in Bacoor, Cavite.
Aaron Jeruta took charge late on for the Café France Bakers, as he helped the defending champions repulse the Phoenix Accelerators, 78-68.
The pint-sized point guard fired eight of his 13 points in the fourth period to hold off the Accelerators in the clutch.
“He played two consecutive games na pangit, so bumawi lang sya. Hopefully next time, madala pa rin nya yung magandang laro,” said coach Egay Macaraya, who is coming back from his one-game suspension.
Rod Ebondo anchored Cafe France with 19 markers, 18 rebounds, and two blocks, while Carl Bryan Cruz tallied 17 points and eight boards in the victory.
“Good defense. The boys wanted to win more than Phoenix. Gusto pa nila ng isang laro and everybody stepped up,” said Macaraya.
The Bakers turned a 42-34 deficit around with a scintillating second half to grab a lead as high as twelve, 78-66.
Cafe France also held Phoenix to a paltry 29 percent field goal shooting.
Mac Belo topped Phoenix with 23 points and 11 rebounds. Mike Tolomia had 20 markers, four boards, three assists, and two steals in the defeat.
Cafe France (78) – Ebondo 19, Cruz 17, Jeruta 13, Abundo 10, Zamar 7, Casino 4, De Leon 4, Manlangit 2, Parala 2, Custodio 0, Opiso 0.
Phoenix (68) – Belo 23, Tolomia 20, Daquioag 10, Pogoy 7, Andrada 2, Escoto 2, Inigo 2, Jamito 2, Batino 0, Colina 0, Knuttel 0, Mendoza 0, Tamsi 0.
Quarterscores: 12-16, 29-34, 55-52, 78-68.