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Gems come back to beat Bakers

By Ivan Saldajeno

QUEZON CITY--Cebuana Lhuillier fought back from a 21-point deficit to down Cafe France, 86-85, in the main game of a PBA D-League Foundation Cup doubleheader at the JCSGO Gym on Monday.

The Bakers led, 73-52, late in the third quarter, but the Gems slowly erased the lead and tied the game on a Simon Enciso three, 85-all, with 16 seconds left in the game.

Moala Tautuaa then stole the inbound pass and got fouled on the other end. He missed the first free throw, but he made the second to put Cebuana up with 2.7 seconds on the clock. Maverick Ahanmisi misfired a desperation heave from the backcourt at the final buzzer.

Tautuaa's game-winning charity capped a 34-point, 13-rebound day for the Gems and erased the memory of the previous Aspirants' Cup Finals, when he, still with the Cagayan Rising Suns, missed two crucial free throws in Game 2 of the series against eventual champions Hapee Fresh Fighters.

Ahanmisi led the Bakers with 19 markers.

Box Scores:

Cebuana Lhuillier 86—Tautuaa 34, Corpuz 15, Torres 10, Enciso 9, J. Mangahas 5, Acibar 4, A. Mangahas 4, Zamar 3, Vosotros 2, Acosta 0, Bautista 0, Marata 0

CafĂ© France-CEU 85—Ahanmisi 19, Sedurifa 18, Nimes 10, Cortez 10, Abundo 8, Ebondo 8, Andrada 6, De Leon 4, Noble 2, Jeruta 0, Miranda 0, Batino 0

Quarterscores: 20-16, 32-38, 55-75, 86-85