Café France's leans on hot third quarter to evade Victoria's stunner

By Dugout Philippines

PASIG—Cafe France used a huge 38-point third quarter outburst to thwart Victoria Sports-MLQU's upset bid and pull off a 95-84 victory Thursday in the 2017 PBA D-League Aspirants' Cup at Ynares Sports Arena.

Paul Desiderio and Rod Ebondo emerged as a formidable duo after the halftime break as they ushered a 17-4 run to overturn a 44-32 halftime deficit to a 49-48 lead with six minutes left in the third period.

The Bakers continued to pounce on Victoria, finishing the quarter on top, 70-61 and even led by as much as 13, 93-80 with three minutes left in the game.

Ebondo topped Cafe France with 27 points, 18 rebounds, and five blocks, while Desiderio unfurled 15 of his 20 markers in the third quarter, to go with nine boards.

"The boys wanted to win so much that they played erratic. So in the second half, we focused on playing defense and that did the trick for us," said coach Egay Macaraya

Aaron Jeruta chipped in 11 points, four rebounds, and three assists, while Jeepy Faundo and Rich Guinitaran combined for 20 to sustain the Bakers' winning run to four and rise to a 5-1 slate.

Robbie Herndon poured 20 points, eight rebounds, and five assists for Victoria Sports (1-5), while Aris Dionisio tallied 14 markers and 12 boards in the loss.

Box Scores:

Café France-CEU 95-Ebondo 27, Desiderio 20, Jeruta 11, Faundo 10, Guinitaran 10, Manlangit 8, Calisaan 7, Aquino 2, Arim 0, Casino 0, Gabriel 0, Veron 0, Wamar 0

Victoria-MLQU 84-Herndon 20, Dionisio 14, Grimaldo 11, Sorela 10, Nicholls 8, Koga 6, Ayonayon 5; Bitoon 4, Lao 4, Ragasa 2, Mag-isa 0

Quarterscores: 17-21, 32-44, 70-61, 95-84

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