By Dugout Philippines
PASIG--Racal kept its immaculate record with an 84-80 victory over Tanduay Tuesday in the 2017 PBA D-League Aspirants' Cup at Ynares Sports Arena.
The trio of Rey Nambatac, Allan Mangahas, and Kent Salado came off the bench and provided the spark for the Tile Masters, as they fired 16 of the team's 23 fourth quarter points to snag the W.
Nambatac paced his side with 16 points and six rebounds, Mangahas chimed in 16 markers and six boards, and Salado poured 15 points and two rebounds as Racal kept its record unblemished at 5-0.
"We weren't able to stop (Paul) Sanga, but I told them to play our game and trust their teammates. Don't panic," said coach Jerry Codinera.
Behind Sanga, Tanduay took a six-point lead early in the fourth, 71-65, before the Racal trio teamed up to fire a 17-6 run and turn it to an 82-78 lead, thanks to a pair of Jamil Gabawan free throws with 1:20 left.
The Rhum Masters had chances to get closer, but Sanga, Mark Cruz, and Raphy Reyes missed their chances late before Salado sealed the deal as he canned his freebies in the final 13.7 ticks.
Sanga went on a 7-of-19 clip from threes to finish with 25 points and three rebounds for Tanduay (3-2).
Bong Quinto also got 21 markers, two boards, and two assists as the Tile Masters cut the Rhum Masters' three-game winning streak short.
In the first game, Cafe France solved the puzzle that was Wangs Basketball in the third frame to pull off an 84-74 win.
Engaged in a tight battle with the game tied at 59, the Bakers went on a hot streak and unfurled a telling 14-2 blast to end the third quarter and grab a decisive 73-61 advantage over the Couriers.
"Everybody wanted to win but there was no energy and effort in the first half. I'm happy that we bounced back in the second half although there were still some lapses," said coach Egay Macaraya.
Paul Desiderio had his guns ablaze anew, shooting 5-of-9 from threes to pace his side with 23 points and four rebounds.
Rod Ebondo also chipped in 20 markers, nine boards, and two blocks, while Michael Calisaan did it all with his 18 points, nine rebounds, three dimes, a steal, and a block.
Cafe France moved to solo second place with its third straight win, improving its standing at 4-1.
John Tayongtong saw his 39-point output go down the drain as Wangs absorbed its fourth straight defeat and fall down to a 1-4 record.
Cafe France-CEU 84-Desiderio 23, Ebondo 20, Calisaan 18, Aquino 8, Faundo 5, Arim 4, Manlangit 4, Casino 2, Gabriel 0, Guinitaran 0, Jeruta 0, Opiso 0, Wamar 0
Wang's 74-Tayongtong 39, M. Gomez 11, Regalado 10, Publico 6, Enriquez 2, Montuano 2, Salcedo 2, Brana 1, King 1, Gubal 0, Labing-isa 0, Lasco 0, Tambeling 0
Quarterscores: 24-19, 40-42, 73-61, 84-74.
Racal 84-Mangahas 16, Nambatac 16, Salado 15, Onwubere 13, Gabawan 6, Corpuz 5, Flores 5, Gumaru 3, Gabayni 2, Terso 2, Apreku 1, Cabrera 0, Dagangon 0, Torres 0
Tanduay 80-Sanga 25, Quinto 21, Sollano 12, Cruz 7, Santos 6, Palma 5, Cenal 2, Reyes 2, Eguilos 0, Ibay 0, Varilla 0
Quarterscores: 21-25, 41-36, 61-64, 84-80
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