|Cedric De Joya waxed hot in the end to complete Batangas-EAC's epic comeback. PBA Media Bureau|
By Dugout Philippines
PASIG--Batangas-EAC upset Centro Escolar University with a 89-87 shocker Monday in the 2018 PBA D-League Aspirants' Cup at Pasig Sports Center.
Cedric de Joya was instrumental in the Generals' fightback from 24-points down, 20-44, in the first half, dropping 10 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter, to go with three assists, two rebounds, and two steals.
The pint-sized playmaker's heroics in the endgame was crucial for Batangas-EAC's heist, as he drilled seven straight points in the last 1:42, including the big triple that put it on top 87-85, with 42.3 seconds on the clock.
Philip Tampoc garnered 15 markers and nine boards off the bench, while Jerome Garcia poured 13 points, four rebounds, and four assists.
Chris Dela Pena chipped in 13 markers and six boards, and Cedric Ablaza registered a double-double of 12 points and 12 rebounds in the victory, which ended the Generals' four-game losing slide.
"At least yung preparation namin sa kanila nung Holy Week, nagawa namin. Nagtrabaho lang kami, naka-recover kami, at para sa amin talaga yung win," said coach Ariel Sison.
The Scorpions still had a chance to tie the game in the waning seconds, but Joseph Manlangit stepped on the line as his jumper was ruled as a long two in the last 10.6 seconds, keeping Batangas-EAC ahead, 88-87. Garcia finished off the game with a split before Ablaza stole the ball in the final four seconds to put the game beyond reach.
The Generals rose to 2-8 for the conference, while denying the Scorpions a chance to snare the top seed and dropped them to 8-3.
CEU can still gain a top two seat, but it needs Marinerong Pilipino and Akari-Adamson to lose their final games in the eliminations.
Judel Fuentes led the Scorpions with 26 points and six rebounds, while Manlangit had 16 markers and six boards.
Rod Ebondo sat out this game, still due to his back injury, while Orlan Wamar was tossed late in the first period after throwing the ball to an opponent.
BATANGAS-EAC 89 -- De Joya 18, Tampoc 15, Dela Pena 13, Garcia 13, Ablaza 12, Maguliano 10, E. Mendoza 5, Altamirano 3, Bugarin 0, Corilla 0, Estacio 0, Martin 0, J. Mendoza 0.
CEU 87 -- Fuentes 26, Manlangit 16, Cruz 15, Aquino 8, Arim 6, Veron 6, Saber 4, Caballero 3, Galinato 3, Chan 0, Guinitaran 0, Opiso 0, Wamar 0.
Quarters: 18-36, 45-54, 68-74, 89-87.
Follow the site on Twitter: @DugoutPH