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Tanduay completes twice-to-beat overhauling, ousts UP-QRS-JAM

By Ivan Saldajeno

PASIG--Tanduay became the only lower-seeded quarterfinal team to make the semifinals of the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup after eliminating UP-QRS-JAM, 99-89, in their rubber match at the Ynares Sports Arena on Thursday.

The fifth-seeded Rhum Masters went berserk in second half to build a huge lead enough to keep the fourth-seeded Fighting Maroons at bay despite a late run to complete a total cancellation of the latter's twice-to-beat advantage and get the right to face the Cafe France-CEU Bakers in the next round.

After leading, 28-21, after the first quarter, Tanduay found itself trailing at the half after a 24-13 second quarter pulled UP-QRS-JAM up, 45-41.

The Rhum Masters then went on a 25-11 third quarter blast to retake the lead, 66-56, and would stretch it to as high as 19 midway into the fourth.

But the Maroons hit huge triples to help build an 11-0 run inside the last two minutes to cut the lead to six, 93-87.

It would turn out to be their final hurrah as the Rhum Masters converted on crucial free throws to seal the deal.

Jaypee Belencion exploded for 27 points on 7-of-14 triples with five rebounds and one assist for Tanduay.

Gelo Alolino had 24 points on 8-of-12 shooting with four assists, one rebound, and one steal for UP-QRS-JAM.

Box Scores:

Tanduay 99-Belencion 27, Tagarda 14, Santos 13, Javillonar 12, Lingganay 10, Llagas 8, Celda 4, Acuña 4, Pessumal 4, Wetherell 3, Gotladera 0

UP-QRS-JAM 89-Alolino 24, Aguilar 17, Ferrer 15, Soyud 15, Desiderio 6, Lim 6, Batino 4, Villarias 2, Neypes 0, Moralde 0

Quarterscores: 28-21, 41-45, 66-56, 99-89

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