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CEU completes playoff cast, romps lowly Racal

PBA

By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--CEU locked the sixth and the last seat in the PBA D-League Foundation Cup playoffs after dismantling Racal, 88-77, at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig on Tuesday.

The Scorpions used a game-deciding 16-4 run that turned a slim 70-68 lead to an 88-72 blowout with 1:29 left before letting the Alibaba score the game's last five points for the final tally.

“I’m very thankful for my players that they followed our gameplan. Sinabi ko lang na ito na yung chance nila para ma-experience yung pressure na makapasok sa playoffs,” said Coach Yong Garcia.

Rod Ebondo came close to a 20-20 after tallying 22 points and 19 rebounds, while Orlan Wamar and Art Aquino each chipped in 12 markers for CEU, which provisionally took the fifth spot at 6-4.

CEU, however, can still move up to fourth--plus a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals--if Batangas bows to Flying V later Tuesday.

Rian Ayonayon bounced back from a scoreless output on Thursday against Tanduay and led Racal, who exited the conference at an underwhelming 3-7 record, with 12 markers and six caroms.

The result dropped idle Marinerong Pilipino to sixth place. The team will face third-seeded Tanduay, armed with a twice-to-beat advantage, in the quarterfinals.

Box Scores:

CEU 88 - Ebondo 22, Aquino 12, Wamar 12, CasiƱo 11, Guinitaran 9, Jeruta 8, Uri 6, Cruz 4, Arim 2, Manlangit 2, Baconcon 0, Intic 0

Racal 77-Ayonayon 12, Mangahas 10, Apreku 9, Cabrera 9, Cortes 9, Ortuoste 8, Pontejos 6, Tallo 5, Capacio 4, Lozada 3, Faundo 2, Gomez 0, Grimaldo 0

Quarterscores: 21-23, 41-44, 63-58, 88-77

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno