Paul Sanga rediscovered his touch right in time as Jumbo Plastic outlasted MP Hotel Letran, 78-72, and booked a quarterfinal seat the PBA D-League Foundation Cup yesterday at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
The former Far Eastern University star scored 13 of his 15 points in the final 10 minutes to help Jumbo erase a 61-58 deficit and take a 71-61 advantage with just a little over three minutes left.
Rocky Acidre desperately tried to keep the Warriors in the game, with his last three pointer drawing his squad to within four, 72-76, but that turned out to be a case of of too little and too late as Sanga drained the marginal free throws to put the game away for good.
“It was a big win. I like how we are progressing as a team, especially defensively,” said Jumbo head coach Stevenson Tiu.
The win was Jumbo’s fifth in nine games, thus earning a quarterfinal date with reigning Aspirants’ Cup titlist Hapee Toothpaste.
Tiu also got significant numbers from Phillip Paniamogan and Glenn Khobuntin who tallied 13 markers each. National University standout Denice Villamor also shone by scoring 11 aside from grabbing 10 boards.
Khasim Mirza led the Warriors with 21 points and nine rebounds, but his efforts went down the drain as the Manny Pacquiao-owned squad finished their maiden campaign with a 1-8 record.
JUMBO PLASTIC 78 – Sanga 15, Paniamogan 13, Khobuntin 13, Villamor 11, Arellano 6, Mandani 5, Tiongson 4, Eguilos 4, Avillanoza 4, Perez 3, Purdy 0.
MP HOTEL– Letran 72 – Mirza 21, Acidre 15, Dela Pena 10, Quinto 8, Nambatac 6, Custodio 5, Mendoza 4, Colina 2, Cruz 1, Luib 0, Calvo 0, Apreku 0.
Quarters: 25-21; 42-38; 55-56; 78-72.