Jeruta fires up in fourth as Cafe France sends semis against Racal to rubber match

By Dugout Philippines

PASIG—Aaron Jeruta captained a huge finishing kick to extend Cafe France’s campaign and score an 86-75 come-from-behind Game 2 win over Racal to extend their best-of-3 semifinals series in the 2017 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup Thursday at Ynares Sports Arena.

The diminutive guard fired 10 of his 18 points in the payoff period, while also getting six assists and four rebounds, but more importantly, commanding the Bakers’ late 16-4 strike to claim the victory from the clutches of the Tile Masters.

“I guess it’s Aaron. Aaron Jeruta stepped up. He’s the only veteran in the team and this was his breakthrough game,” said coach Egay Macaraya, as his side fought back from a 14-point deficit, 57-43, early in the third frame.

Congolese big man Rod Ebondo captained Cafe France with 25 markers, 22 boards, and six blocks, while JK Casino added nine points.

Paul Desiderio also had eight points, none bigger than his huge trey with 1:07 remaining to give his side a 79-75 edge.

Rey Nambatac paced Racal with 14 points, nine rebounds, and six assists, while Jackson Corpuz and Allan Mangahas both finished with 12 markers in the defeat.

Box Scores:

Cafe France-CEU 86-Ebondo 25, Jeruta 18, Casino 9, Desiderio 8, Manlangit 8, Sedurifa 7, Calisaan 6, Faundo 5, Arim 0

Racal 75-Nambatac 14, Corpuz 12, Mangahas 12, Torres 11, Cabrera 10, Salado 8, Flores 4, Onwubere 4, Capacio 0, Dagangon 0, Gabawan 0, Gabayni 0, Terso 0

Quarterscores: 15-20, 33-43, 52-61, 86-75

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