LADY Luck smiled on Tanduay in the closing seconds and the Rum Masters escaped with a pulsating 76-74 cliffhanger over Marinerong Pilipino on Monday in the Philippine Basketball Association Developmental League Foundatin Cup at the Ynares Sports Center in Pasig City.
After tying the game with 3.1 seconds left, John Lopez was whistled a technical foul during an inbound play that sent to Lester Alvarez to the line. The spitfire Tanduay guard calmly sank the technical free throw to put the Rhum Masters back in the driver’s seat, 75-74.
Jaymo Eguilos closed out scoring with a split from the line with 2.5 seconds left.
“I hope we can play better but I’ll take the two-point win anytime. Maybe, we also need these kinds of games,” Tanduay Coach Lawrence Chongson said.
Alvarez showed the way for Tanduay with 15 points and two assists. Eguilos added 10 points and seven boards for the Rum Masters who improved to a 2-1 (win-loss) record.
Achie Iñigo led Marinerong Pilipino (1-2) with 14 points, seven rebounds and five assists, while Julian Sargent had 10 points, four boards and two dimes.
James Mangahas and Robby Celiz delivered the big baskets as Zark’s Burger crashed into the win column with a 109-91 victory over AMA Online Education.
Mangahas dazzled on the way to 26 points, 14 rebounds and two assists and led a second-quarter breakaway for the Jawbreakers for a 55-45 halftime lead, Celiz picked up the slack in the second half, scattering 12 of his 25 points in the period to help break Zark’s three-game losing skid.
“I told them we’re down 0-3 so this is a must-win for us. This is our best chance to win because of the makeup of both teams,” said Coach Jade Padrigao, who also reached a career milestone with his first D-League win. “It’s a relief.”
Ivan Villanueva topscored for AMA with 29 points and grabbed 15 rebounds, while Mario Bonleon chipped in 20 points and 13 boards. Paolo Pontejos added 15 points for the Titans who fell to their third consecutive defeat.