Tanduay Rhum used a late run to pull away from Wangs Basketball and book a 90-75 victory Thursday for its second straight win in the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
The Rhum Masters made a 10-0 run in the final two minutes of the match after forcing turnovers from Wangs to turn a close 80-75 ball game into its final score.
Tanduay picked up its second straight win against as many losses, while Wangs dropped to 1-3.
“Malayo pa yan. This (game) determined kasi if we go up to the middle of the pack or go down to the cellar. Pinaghirapan namin, we prepared for a week,” Tanduay head coach Lawrence Tiongson said.
Adrian Santos led a good start for Tanduay in the first half as the team held a 41-33 halftime edge. Santos poured 12 of his 16 points in the first 20 minutes and missed only one of his six field goal attempts.
James Mangahas then carried Wangs back in the third period as he dropped eight points. Wangs cut the deficit down to only 44-43, but Tanduay had a strong response, closing the quarter with a 20-9 run.
Ryan Wetherell scored five of the last 10 Tanduay points in the stretch as the Rhum Masters erected a double-digit lead heading into the final quarter.
Baskets by Jonathan Banal, Clark Bautista, and Rey Publico then sparked another comeback attempt for Wangs, cutting the Tanduay lead down to only 71-66 with over five minutes left in regulation.
An and-one play by Mark Romero made it 73-71 Tanduay, but back to back lay-ups by Rudy Lingganay pushed the Rhum Masters’ advantage back to 77-71.
“More than practicing, bini-build namin ang IQ ng players ko. Karamihan diyan kung hindi rookie, mga free agent ng PBA, hindi nakarating doon, so baka sa IQ ko sila mapupunan,” Tiongson said of his players’ maturity responding to comeback attempts by Wangs.
Santos and Lingganay both contributed 16 points for Tanduay, combining for 15-for-20 shooting. Tanduay scored a 24-7 edge in fastbreak points.
Romero and Bautista paced Wangs with 13 points apiece.
Tanduay (90) – Lingganay 16, Santos 16, Celda 14, Pessumal 12, Llagas 9, Belencion 7, Wetherell 6, Javillonar 5, Gotladera 3, Tagarda 2.
Wangs (75) – Bautista 13, Romero 13, Mangahas 10, Banal 9, Montemayor Jo. 8, Publico 6, Acosta 5, Cueto 5, Montemayor Je. 4, Munsayac 2.
Quarterscores: 23-19, 41-33, 64-52, 90-75.