SIDNEY Onwubere nailed the game-winning triple as Racal hacked out a thrilling 88-86 win over Cafe France in Game One of the PBA D-League Aspirants' Cup semifinals at the Marikina Sports Complex on Tuesday.
Onwubere erupted with 24 points built on five three-pointers, none bigger than the last-gasp triple that saved the Tile Masters from the jaws of defeat.
Before that play, the Fil-Nigerian forward born and raised in Cavite sank two shots from beyond the arc followed by another corner triple by Allan Mangahas as Racal rose from seven points down to regain the lead, 84-83, entering the final minute.
But the Bakers refused to go down without a fight, with Rod Ebondo sinking a bail-out triple off a broken play to get back on top, 86-85.
In the ensuing play, the Tile Masters rode turned to Onwubere, who rose to the occasion.
"Talagang nilabas ko mga shooters. We're just going for a decent shot," Racal coach Jerry Codinera said on the final play.
Kent Salado scored 16 points, while Jackson Corpuz added 14 markers.
Game Two is on Thursday at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
Meanwhile, Ebondo paced the Bakers with 30 points and 13 rebounds. Paul Desiderio raked in 17 points while JK Casino had 13.
RACAL 88 - Onwubere 24, Salado 16, Corpuz 14, Flores 10, Nambatac 9 Mangahas 7, Dagangon 3, Torres 3, Gabawan 2, Gumaru 0, Terso 0.
CAFE FRANCE 86 - Ebondo 30, Desiderio 17, Casino 13, Sedurifa 9, Calisaan 5, Faundo 4, Wamar 3, Arim 2, Manlangit 2, Jeruta 1, Aquino 0, Guinitaran 0.
Quarterscores: 22-20, 39-34, 59-60, 88-86.