Header Ads Widget

TOP SEED GONE | CEU completes ouster of Flying V to set up finals clash vs. Cignal


By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--CEU shocked the PBA D-League fans after doing the improbable on Tuesday night when the team snapped Flying V's 11-game winning streak to start its Foundation Cup campaign.

[Related Story: STREAK BUSTER | CEU ends Flying V's perfect run with semis equalizer]

Two nights later, the Scorpions sent the Thunder home.

CEU completed the biggest stunner in the season-ending conference, eliminating the top-seeded Flying V with a 72-67 victory in the final game of their best-of-three semifinal affair at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig on Thursday night.

The Thunder actually started hot, opening the game on an 8-0 run and took a 13-point lead, 25-12, early into the second quarter.

The Scorpions, however, slowly crawled back and eventually took a 58-57 advantage.

The game went back and forth from there until CEU went on a 6-0 run to go up, 69-64, with 1:33 left.

Eric Salamat, who struggled from deep all game long, scored on a triple to draw Flying V to within two, 67-69, with 1:26 to go, but Rod Ebondo sealed the win with three straight free throws as Flying V could not buy a basket in the end.

Orlan Wamar's long-range shooting kept the Scorpions afloat during the early goings of the game as he eventually finished with 19 points, but it was JJ Manlangit who delivered the clutch shots for them, scoring six of his 11 points in the fourth quarter on top of nine rebounds.

Patrick Aquino (13 points and 10 rebounds) and Rod Ebondo (11 points and 18 rebounds) did complete double-doubles for the Scorpions, who will take on the Cignal Hawkeyes in the best-of-three finals starting this Tuesday at the said venue.

“I’m so proud sa mga players ko. Binigay nila yung best kaya umabot kami sa ganito,” said Coach Yong Garcia of his team's performance.

Jeron Teng tallied 19 markers, five caroms, and six assists for the Thunder, who ended their campaign with back-to-back losses following the said 11-0 start.

Box Scores:

CEU 72-Wamar 19, Aquino 13, Casiño 12, Ebondo 11, Manlangit 11, Jeruta 4, Arim 2, Uri 2, Cruz 2, Fuentes 0

Flying V 67-Teng 19, Thiele 13, Torres 8, Banal 7, Paredes 6, Salamat 6, Austria 3, Tampus 3, Cañada 2, Dionisio 0.

Quarterscores: 12-18, 32-39, 51-54, 72-67

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno