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PBA DL: CafeFrance tops MP Hotel, 86-77

Games Monday San Juan Arena,
1 p.m. – Cagayan Valley vs Hapee
3 p.m. – Jumbo Plastic vs Cebuana Lhuillier

Café France capitalized on every opportunity that came their way late in the third quarter then fend off MP Hotel’s last stand down the stretch as the Bakers came away with an 86-77 victory on Thursday in the PBA D-League Foundation Cup at the Ynares Arena.

The Bakers turned the game around by scoring nine unanswered points in the last 3:37 of the third that translated to a third consecutive win for Café France. The Bakers improved to 3-1 to maintain their second position behind league leader Cebuana Lhuillier (4-0).

As coach Egay Macaraya had feared, the Bakers, coming off a 10-day break in between game, struggled in the first half but good shooting in the first four minutes of the game enabled them build some momentum.

“We had a tough time running the plays in the second half in absence of Mon (Abundo). He’s a key to our offense. But guys… they’re focused to win and we made some stops. I thought that was the key,” said Café France coach Egay Macaya.

The 5-foot-7 Abundo limped out of the court after twisting his left foot in a mad scramble for the ball before halftime.

Macaraya, however, downplayed their continued surge as a sign of playoff hope.

“It’s too early to say. All our wins are against teams with losing records. The issue of whether we are a certified contender or not should be answered when we play Hapee (on May 4),” Macaraya said.

Maverick Ahanmisi tallied 18 points. Joseph Sedurifa and Yutien Andrada added 15 and 11 points respectively off the bench for Café France, which led by as many as 10 points (26-26) early in the second quarter on two free throws by Sedurifa.

MP Hotel kept the game close throughout but couldn’t come up with a run when they had a chance to seize control.

A 3-point shot by Kier Quinto gave the Warriors a 52-50 lead with 3:53 to play in the third. But they missed on their next two attempts and turned the ball over four consecutive times, in the process allowing the Bakers to launch a 9-0 run that shove them ahead to stay.

Quinto finished with 15 points while Mark Cruz and Rey Nambatac came off the bench to score 14 and 13 respectively for MP Hotel, which picked up its second straight loss and fell to 1-4 overall.