Luck favors to those who wait.
Tanduay lucked to an 84-81 thriller on Thursday, slipping off Topstar ZC Mindanao for its fifth win in the 2016 PBA D-League Foundation Cup at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
The Rhum Masters benefitted from JR Cawaling calling a timeout his team no longer had, paving the way to Rudy Lingganay canning the technical free throw to push his side up, 82-81 with 17.3 seconds left.
Cawaling would try to atone for that miscue, but missed on his drive as Lingganay iced the victory with a pair of free throws. Robin Rono fired a hail mary in dreams of forcing overtime, but his shot only hit the back iron as time expired.
“We’ll take it. A win is a win,” said coach Lawrence Chongson as Tanduay nailed its fifth win in seven games.
Lingganay topped the Rhum Masters with 15 points, five rebounds, and four assists.
Louie Vigil also fired 10 of his 14 points in the first quarter, while also hitting the game-tying basket at 78 with 1:17 left on the clock. He also hauled in nine boards in the victory.
“Ganun talaga. Mahirap kalaban yung ganung team na nothing to lose. At the same time, nag-pile up na rin yung pressure sa amin as seen today and sa last game namin against Blustar,” Chongson, as he noted Tanduay’s 105-102 overtime win over the Dragons last Tuesday.
“Mabuti na mangyari na yun ngayon, na we’re learning our lessons while winning. Hopefully maging eye opener ito sa amin to have that sense of urgency.”
Rono played superb against his former team, dropping 22 points, five rebounds, and three assists, while Cawaling also had 22 markers for the still winless Topstar ZC Mindanao (0-6).
Tanduay (84) – Lingganay 15, Vigil 14, Acuna 11, Belencion 10, Alolino 9, Javillonar 9, Gotladera 7, Mendoza 5, Celda 2, Santos 2, Acibar 0, Enguio 0, Stevens 0, Tagarda 0.
Topstar (81) – Cawaling 22, Rono 22, Ignacio 11, Jumao-as 10, Acosta 6, Cabrera 6, Garcia 3, Rivera 1, Argamino 0, Ongteco 0, Sarangay 0, Tano 0.
Quarterscores: 17-16, 37-33, 59-60, 84-81.