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Jumbo reaches semis

Games Tomorrow (Meralco Gym)
2 p.m.—Blackwater Sports vs Café France
4 p.m. – Cebuana vs Big Chill

Manila, Philippines – The Jumbo Plastic Giants used a third quarter surge to defeat Café France, 67-57 on Tuesday and gained outright passage in the semifinals of the PBA D-League Foundation Cup at the Meralco Gym in Ortigas Ave. Pasig City.

Jason Ballesteros and Jan Colina led the bristling comeback after a sloppy start that saw the Giants trail by as much as 11 points in the second quarter.

The Giants seized control with a 13-0 run while holding the Bakers scoreless for nearly seven minutes in the third. Jumbo Plastic shot 67 percent from the field in the period while Ballesteros and Colina terrorized the lane combining for five blocks.

“Everyone was overeager in the first half. Apparently it did harm than good. At halftime I just told the players if we can’t score we must play consistent defense. I thought we played good defense in the third quarter particularly Jason and Jan,” said Jumbo Plastic coach Steven Tiu.

“This our goal (outright semis). Everyone, especially management, is excited about our accomplishment. We’ll celebrate this for a couple of days then prepare for our next opponent. Hopefully, the guys won’t be content with this,” Tiu added.

Jumbo Plastic finished the elimination round with a 6-3 record in a tie with defending champion Blackwater Sports at second spot. But the Giants joined top-seed and early semifinalist NLEX in the most coveted spot on the strength of the winner over the other rule.

Blackwater Sports and Cebuana Lhuillier wound up third and fourth placers and enjoy a twice-to-beat advantage over respective rivals Big Chill and Café France in the quarterfinals.

Despite the loss though, The Bakers still made it to the quarterfinals following Derulo Accelero’s stunning 86-83 victory against Boracay Rum in the second game.

Michel Juico scored off an inbound pass and hit the bonus free throw with 3.4 seconds left to capped the Oilers thrilling comeback from 15 points down in the third quarter.