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Tanduay completes twice-to-beat bust, ousts top-ranked Racal to set finals date with Phoenix


By Ivan Saldajeno

BACOOR--The "twice-to-beat busters" struck again!

Tanduay completed a shackling of its twice-to-beat PBA D-League Foundation Cup semifinal disadvantage to eliminate Racal, 81-70, for the second finals berth at the STRIKE Gym on Tuesday night.

The Rhum Masters used a 28-point third quarter to spark the eventual game-deciding second half rally against the Tile Masters, which was capped by four straight triples within the last 3:30 of the match.

Reden Celda led Tanduay, which is going to its first finals appearance in the D-League, with 21 points, eight rebounds, and four assists, Gelo Alolino contributed 14 points, six rebounds, four assists, and one steal, and Kevin Ferrer had his best game in a Tanduay kit with 13 points on 4-of-8 shooting from beyond the arc, four rebounds three steals, and one steal. Alolino and Ferrer were responsible for the said four consecutive treys in the end, converting two each.

Jamil Ortuoste made 16 markers, two caroms, three dimes, and a swipe for Racal, which entered the semis as the top-seeded team only to be ousted by fourth-ranked Tanduay.

This is the second straight time the Rhum Masters overcame a twice-to-beat disadvantage to win a D-League playoff series, and they will take on the Phoenix Accelerators, who clinched the first finals spot earlier Tuesday, in the best-of-three finals beginning Thursday at 4:30 p.m. at the Alonte Sports Center in Biñan.

Box Scores:

Tanduay 81-Celda 21, Alolino 14, Ferrer 13, Acuña 6, Eguilos 6, Santos 6, Gotladera 5, LIngganay 4, Tagarda 4, Javillonar 2, Belencion 0, Mendoza 0

Racal 70-Ortuoste 16, Grey 15, Celiz 11, Maiquez 9, Paniamogan 8, Cabrera 4, Terso 3, Javier 2, Neypes 2, Banal 0, Corpuz 0, Robles 0

Quarterscores: 15-13, 31-38, 59-54, 81-70

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno