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PBA DL: CafeFrance, Rhum Masters stay alive

BACOOR, Cavite – Defending champion CaféFrance and Tanduay staved off elimination last night to force the PBA D-League Foundation Cup semifinals to a pair of rubber matches at the Strike gym here.

The Bakers overcame an eight-point third quarter deficit to beat the Phoenix Accelerators, 78-68, while the Rhum Masters leaned on the 26 points of Gelo Alolino to turn back the top seed Racal Tile Masters, 88-86, in the opener.

Both knockout games will be held on Tuesday at the same venue with the winners arranging a best-of-three duel for the championship.

CaféFrance drew big games from stars Carl Bryan Cruz and Rod Ebondo and unsung hero Aaron Jeruta to keep its bid for a second straight Foundation Cup title alive.

“We played good defense. The boys want to win at gusto pa nila ng isa pang laro. Hopefully we can bring the energy sa next game,” said CaféFrance coach Egay Macaraya.

Earlier, Alolino’s daredevil drive gave the Rhum Masters an 88-84 advantage with 39.9 seconds left. Tanduay then held on in the final seconds after Racal’s Jonathan Grey missed a three-point try at the buzzer.

First Game
TANDUAY 88 – Alolino 26, Celda 15, Ferrer 13, Mendoza 10, Eguilos 8, Belencion 6, Acuna 4, Javillonar 4, Santos 2, Javelona 0, Lingganay 0.

RACAL 86 – Grey 21, Banal 12, Ortuoste 11, Paniamogan 9, Celiz 8, Cabrera 5, Corpuz 5, Maiquez 5, Robles 4, Terso 4, Gabawan 2, Javier 0, Neypes 0.

Quarters: 22-22; 55-43; 72-63; 88-86.

Second Game
CAFÉFRANCE 78 – Ebondo 19, Cruz 17, Jeruta 13, Abundo 10, Zamar 7, Casino 4, De Leon 4, Manlangit 2, Paral 2, Opiso 0.

PHOENIX 68 – Belo 23, Tolomia 20, Daquioag 10, Pogoy 7, Andrada 2, Escoto 2, Iñigo 2, Jamito 2, Batino 0, Colina 0, Knuttel 0, Mendoza 0, Tamsi 0.

Quarters: 12-16; 29-34; 55-52; 78-68.

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