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Ferrer plays hero in debut as Tanduay nears semis with win against Cafe France


By Ivan Saldajeno

PASIG--Kevin Ferrer struggled in his first game with Tanduay in the PBA D-League Foundation Cup.

But when he was needed the most, he delivered.

Ferrer dropped the eventual game-winning triple as the Rhum Masters put a foot into the conference semifinals with a 75-74 win against the Cafe France-CEU Bakers at the Ynares Sports Arena on Monday night.

Almost a non-factor from deep, Ferrer swished a trey with 39.2 seconds left to help Tanduay stop a comeback bid by Cafe France.

The Rhum Masters broke out of a 60-all tie by a 12-0 run for a 72-60 cushion with 3:25 remaining, but the Bakers answered with their own 14-0 rally to lead, 74-72, with 49.8 seconds to go.

Afterward, Ferrer went for the pull-up from the left wing and nailed the triple in the next play.

Cafe France had a shot at stealing the win, but Reden Celda saved the day by blocking JK CasiƱo's layup as time expired.

Celda actually made an impression offensively as he led the Rhum Masters, who swept the Bakers in their conference series, with 17 points.

Mon Abundo had a game-high 18 markers with six rebounds and four assists for the Bakers, who dropped to a three-way tie for first place with the Phoenix Accelerators and the Racal Tile Masters. The Accelerators and the Tile Masters battle on Tuesday at 4 p.m. at the said venue for the solo lead.

Aside from putting themselves at the brink of taking the last Final Four ride, Tanduay also complicated the race for the twice-to-beat advantage in the next round as they are now a half-game behind the three aforementioned clubs.

Box Scores:

Tanduay 75-Celda 17, Ferrer 9, Lingganay 9, Mendoza 9, Acuna 8, Alolino 7, Javillonar 7, Santos 5, Eguilos 2, Tagarda 2, Belencion 0, Gotladera 0, Javelona 0, Stevens 0

Cafe France-CEU 74-Abundo 18, Ebondo 13, Cruz 10, Opiso 8, Parala 8, Zamar 7, Jeruta 4, Casino 3, Custodio 2, Arim 1, Manlangit 0

Quarterscores: 15-18, 32-38, 52-52, 75-74

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