Cafe France repulses Tanduay to take semis lead

By Ivan Saldajeno

SAN JUAN, MM--Cafe France-CEU proved to be too much for Tanduay as the earlier opened their own PBA D-League Aspirants Cup semifinal series with a 65-58 win at the FilOil Flying V Centre on Tuesday.

Up by double digits in the first half, the Bakers responded to every fightback by the Rhum Masters with counter-rallies of their own to keep the lead intact en route to the 1-0 lead in the best-of-three affair.

Rod Ebondo stomped his dominance inside by tallying 14 points, 25 rebounds, and two blocks with one assist and one steal for Cafe France, which can book its second straight finals appearance next week.

Joseph Manlangit had his best performance for the tournament with 11 points, five rebounds, two steals, and one block off the bench.

Pari Llagas and Von Pessumal each scored 13 points for Tanduay, which entered the semis by virtue of beating UP-QRS-JAM twice in the quarterfinals.

Box Scores:

Cafe France-CEU 65-Ebondo 14, Manlangit 11, Cruz 10, Villahermosa 9, Abundo 9, De Leon 6, Jeruta 6, Opiso 0, Casiño 0, Zamar 0, Arim 0, Celso 0

Tanduay 58-Llagas 13, Pessumal 13, Belencion 11, Javillonar 6, Celda 4, Santos 3, Lingganay 3, Eriobu 3, Wetherell 2, Tagarda 0, Acuña 0

Quarterscores: 18-16, 32-28, 49-44, 65-58

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