CaféFrance used a decisive 14-2 run to end the third quarter before holding off Wang’s Basketball, 84-74, yesterday to gain the solo second spot in the PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
Rod Ebondo and Oliver Arim scored four points apiece in that crucial stretch as the Bakers turned a 59-all tie into a 73-61 lead entering the fourth quarter, on their way to posting their fourth victory in five games.
University of the Philippines standout Paul Desiderio led CaféFrance with 23 points spiked by five triples, while Ebondo added 20 points and nine rebounds. San Sebastian star Michael Calisaan fell a rebound shy of a double-double after posting 18 points and nine boards.
The Egay Macaraya-coached CaféFrance squad won despite allowing 39 points from Wangs guard John Tayongtong. The Couriers fell to 1-3.
The Bakers trail only the Racal Ceramica Tile Masters for the lead in the 10-team tournament. Racal stretched its unbeaten run to five games after defeating Tanduay, 84-80, in the second game.
Rey Nambatac, Allan Mangahas and Kent Salado accounted for 16 of Racal’s 23 points in the payoff period to seal the win. The Tile Masters ended the third trailing 64-61.
Racal even trailed 71-65 early in the fourth behind the hot-shooting of Tanduay’s Paul Sanga, before Nambatac, Mangahas and Salado led a 17-6 burst to pull ahead, 82-78, 1:20 remaining.
Tanduay dropped to fifth place with a 3-2 record. Sanga finished with 25 points while Bong Quinto added 21.