The Che’Lu Bar and Grill Revellers kept their playoff hopes burning, turning back the Ironcon-UST Growling Tigers, 92-80, Monday in the 2019 PBA D-League at JCSGO Gym in Cubao.
Rey Suerte, a UE-commit who will face UST in the UAAP, collected 27 points. He punctuated the killer 19-0 fourth quarter stretch for the Revellers with the last eight points, flipping a tight 70-66 lead to a commanding 89-66 advantage with 3:07 left on the clock.
Gab Dagangon was as solid in his debut with 17 points and three rebounds, while Alfred Batino had 14 points and six boards in the Che’Lu win.
“This is a must win,” said coach Stevenson Tiu. “Sabi ko sa players, if we lose today, parang scrimmage na lang yung last two games. If you still want to play in the playoffs, you have to play hard today.”
The victory allowed the Revellers to stay in the hunt for a spot in the Aspirants Group top four at 4-3. Meanwhile, the Growling Tigers suffered their second defeat in their last three games to fall to 5-2.
It was a sorry defeat for Ironcon-UST, who crawled back from an 18-point deficit, 65-47, and got to within two, 65-63 in the waning moments of the third frame.
That run fell flat in the end, however, as Batino and Suerte delivered the daggers in the payoff period.
Sherwin Concepcion fired 24 points on a 4-of-8 shooting from threes to lead Ironcon-UST, who squandered a chance to seal off a playoff seat.
Che’Lu 92 — Suerte 27, Dagangon 17, Batino 14, Viernes 12, P. Manalang 7, Collado 5, Gabo 4, Taganas 2, Bautista 2, Siruma 2, Bringas 0, Dumapig 0.
Ironcon-UST 80 — Concepcion 24, Chabi Yo 18, Abando 16, Nonoy 9, Paraiso 6, Ando 2, Lee 2, Huang 2, Pangilinan 1, Asuncion 0, Bataller 0, Yongco 0, Herrera 0, Marcos 0.
Quarterscores: 22-17, 44-39, 70-63, 92-80.
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