Bakers open title drive, rout Topstar 5

Jose Rodel Clapano - The Philippine Star

Games Tuesday (JCSGO Gym, Cubao)

2 p.m. – Racal Tile vs AMA Online Education

4 p.m. – Phoenix vs Tanduay


MANILA, Philippines - Cafe France used a strong start and a stronger finish to clobber Topstar ZC Mindanao, 89-64, while Tanduay checked an impending skid and held off AMA Online, 72-66, at the start of the PBA D-League Foundation Cup at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig yesterday.

Out to atone for their failed title retention bid in the last conference, the Bakers took charge with a 20-9 start, slowed down a bit in the middle quarters but dominated the Aguilas with their outside firepower in the fourth to post the 25-point romp.

“They have to understand that they have to overcome those obstacles. I just let them feel and understand that they can do it. Sometimes, they have to learn to compose themselves and not rely on the coaches,” said Café France mentor Egay Macaraya.?

Bryan Cruz and Paul Zamar took turns in breaking the game wide open, finishing with 21 and 17 points, respectively, while Samboy de Leon and Congolese big man Rod Ebondo combined for 23 points for the Bakers.

Cruz also grabbed four rebounds, Zamar dished off five assists, while De Leon backed them up with 12 markers and Ebondo turned in a double-double with 11 markers and 12 rebounds.

Gino Jumao-as and Dexter Garcia scored 11 points each for the Aguilas, who also drew eight markers from a debuting JR Cawaling.

Later in the day, the Rhum Masters nearly blew a 29-point third quarter lead and needed to toughen up down the stretch to ward off the AMA Titans.

Rudy Lingganay paced the Rhum Masters with 12 points and three rebounds, while Jaypee Belencion chipped in 10 markers.

Tanduay still led by 20 going to the last quarter but AMA rallied to pull within six but ran out of time.

Jaycee Asuncion and Gene Belleza carried AMA with 18 points apiece.


The scores:

First Game

CAFE FRANCE 89 – Cruz 21, Zamar 17, De Leon 12, Ebondo 11, Opiso 7, Abundo 6, Casino 6, Villahermosa 6, Jeruta 2, Manlangit 1, Arim 0, Cortez 0.

TOPSTAR ZC MINDANAO 64 – Garcia 11, Jumao-as 11, Argamino 9, Cabrera 9, Cawaling 8, Ignacio 6, Sarangay 6, Ongteco 4, Acosta 0, Dadjilul 0, Rivera 0, Rono 0, Tano 0.

Quarterscores: 20-9, 43-24, 59-43, 89-64

Second Game

TANDUAY 72 – Lingganay 12, Belencion 10, Celda 8, Javillonar 7, Mendoza 7, Santos 7, Vigil 6, Alolino 4, Tagarda 4, Acibar 3, Acuna 2, Gotladera 2, Cenal 0, Stevens 0.

AMA 66 – Asuncion 18, Belleza 18, Publico 8, Bragais 5, Jordan 5, Jo. Montemayor 4, Ragasa 4, Arambulo 2, Je. Montemayor 2, Calma 0, Dizon 0, Macaranas 0, Magpantay 0, Olivares 0.

Quarterscores: 13-15, 33-29, 62-42, 72-66

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