CEBUANA Lhuillier played the spoiler’s role against Cagayan Valley with a 76-68 win on Tuesday in the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup at the Trinity University of Asia gym.
Already out in the race for the playoffs, the Gems improved their win-loss record to 5-6 by defeating the Rising Suns, who are still fighting for fourth place and a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals.
A win would have enhanced Cagayan Valley’s chance at the second and final twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals that goes with the fourth ranked team at the end of the eliminations. Instead, the Rising Suns are now in fifth place with 8-4 followed by Café France (7-4) in sixth in the team standings.
Blackwater Sports could also join Cafe France if the Elite win over Hog’s Breath Café in the second game of Tuesday’s doubleheader being played as of posting time.
Jumbo Plastic Linoleum had already claimed the first twice-to-beat edge being the third seed team.
James Martinez had 16 of his 20 points in the second and third quarters, when the Gems built a big lead.
“Kung talent lang, puwede ’yung team kaso ang problema lagi ’yung big heart,” said Cebuana Lhuillier coach Boycie Zamar. “Good thing nagkaroon kami ng killer instinct.”
Zamar downplayed that their motivation to win is to be a spoiler role.
“I owe it to the players. Ang importante, ipagpatuloy lang namin maglaro,” said Zamar.
Jesse Bustos had nine points, 14 rebounds, three assists, three steals, and three blocks for the Gems.
Cagayan Valley coach Alvin Pua was slapped with a technical foul in the third quarter for throwing a ball bag on the court. Pua also declined to shake hands with Zamar after the game.
Zamar shrugged off the incident and said: “Bata pa siya.”
Cebuana Lhuillier (76) – Martinez 20, Bustos 9, Sumang 8, Gamalinda 8, Zamar 8, Olivares 6, Banal 6, Leynes 5, Paredes 4, Javier 2, Flores 0.
Cagayan Valley (68) – Trollano 17, Bringas 15, Mercader 10, Melano 10, Ighalo 7, Mabulac 4, Cruz 2, Parala 2, Pinto 1, Jamito 0, Celada 0, Gonzales 0, Collado 0, Foronda 0.
Quarterscores: 21-16; 40-30; 59-46; 76-68.