Caida, UP take D-League opener
(The Philippine Star) - January 21, 2016 - 9:00am

Games Monday (Ynares Sports Arena, Pasig)

2 p.m. – CafeFrance vs Mindanao Aguilas
4 p.m. – Phoenix Petroleum vs Wangs Basketball

 

MANILA, Philippines – Caida Tiles and UP QRS/Jam Liner pulled through in a pair of down-to-the-wire finishes to set in motion their respective title campaign in the PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup at the San Juan Arena yesterday.

Jiovani Jalalon came away with 17 points, nine assists and five rebounds as the Tile Masters outlasted the Tanduay Rhum Masters, 90-79, while the Maroons leaned on Raymond Aguilar’s huge triple to slip past the BDO National U Bulldogs, 90-85.

Chris Javier added 16 markers and seven boards while Billy Robles poured in six of his 16 points in the last quarter to help spark the Tile Masters late-game run that the Rhum Masters had failed to match.

Jalalon, Javier and Robles conspired for a 10-0 run as Caida, also cashing in on two Tanduay turnovers, turned a shaky 76-73 lead into a commanding 13-point lead in the last 2:23 en route to victory.

“It’s nice to win the first game. We’re still adjusting, and I think the players have to work more on their defense,” said Caida coach Caloy Garcia. “We just hope that we sustain our good start.”

Ryan Wetherell scattered 10 of his game-high 21-point output in the last 10 minutes but the Rhum Masters lost steam in the stretch, enabling the Tile Masters to pull away. Wetherell added eight rebounds and six assists while Pari Llagas and Joseph Eriobu added 11 markers apiece for Tanduay.

Later in the day, Aguilar, left open on top of the key, fired a clutch trey as the Maroons padded their lead to 89-85. Kevin Ferrer then drew a charge from Alfred Aroga to give UP QRS/Jam Liner another possession with 20.4 seconds remaining in the contest.

Aguilar sealed the win with a split and finished with a double double of 13 rebounds and 18 points, spiked by three triples, to back Paul Desiderio’s team-high 24 markers.

Juneric Baloria chipped in 16 points while Gelo Alolino added 11 markers for the Maroons.

“It was a different experience because it’s hard to blend college and pro guys together,” said UP QRS/Jam Liner team consultant Joe Ward. “It’s kind of tough, but playing the first game, blending different styles, and in the end, coming out with the win, what can you say? It’s a good thing.”

J-Jay Alejandro paced BDO-NU with 21 points, including 11 charities, while Nico Javelona chipped in 13 markers for the Bulldogs.

ACIRC AGUILAR ALFRED AROGA BILLY ROBLES CAIDA CAIDA TILES CALOY GARCIA CHRIS JAVIER JAM LINER RHUM MASTERS TILE MASTERS
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