CAFÉ France moved to the semifinals after dispatching Breadstory-Lyceum, 81-68, on Monday in the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup at The Arena in San Juan.
On the brink of elimination following its loss in the quarterfinal series opener last week, the third-seeded Bakers got a big boost from Aaron Jeruta to clinch a semifinal berth where they will be facing second-seed Hapee starting on Thursday.
Jeruta scored 22 points, including four triples, leading the way during the Bakers’ pivotal 16-3 run to end the third period and put the game away.
A guard out of Centro Escolar University, Jeruta came up huge this time after being a non-factor in the first match against Bread Story.
[See Bread Story-Lyceum downs Cafe France to force rubber match for a semifinal berth in D-League Aspirants Cup]
“At least, nakabawi kami dahil pinatay kami ng mga guards nila nung nakaraan,” said Bakers coach Egay Macaraya.
“Chinallenge ko ’yung mga guards kasi hindi sila puwedeng kainin ng buhay ng mga guards nila.”
Joseph Sedurifa had 12 points while Rodrigue Ebondo tallied 10 points for the Bakers.
Ed Daquioag had 11 points, while Mike Gamboa and Jiovanni Jalalon had 10 points each for the Pirates, who failed to advance to the semifinals as the sixth-seed team.
Café France (81)—Jeruta 22, Sedurifa 12, Ebondo 10, De Leon 9, Ahanmisi 7, Andrada 6, Alolino 4, Batino 4, Galanza 3, Cruz 2, Cortes 2, Abundo 0, Noble 0.
Breadstory (68)—Daquioag 11, Gamboa 10, Jalalon 10, Corpuz 9, Gabayni 6, Taladua 5, Bangga 4, Mbomiko 3, Bulawan 3, Baltazar 2, Zamora 2, Vigil 2, Lao 0, Elmejrab 0.
Quarterscores: 21-19; 37-42; 68-56; 81-68.