Big Chill mustered a furious comeback from nine points down in the fourth period to defeat Cebuana Lhuillier, 83-80, on Thursday at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City and book a place in the PBA D-League Foundation Cup finals.
Alex Mallari scored 20 points on top of five rebounds, seven assists and three steals as the Superchargers made it to a title series for the first time in franchise history which dates back to their stint in the defunct Philippine Basketball League.
The Superchargers won the semifinal series 2-1 and will face defending champion NLEX Road Warriors in the finals starting on Monday.
Jam Cortes added 15 points for the Superchargers, who were down 60-69 but tied the game at 78-78 on split charities by Mallari.
Big Chill took the lead for good when Jessie Collado hit a triple, his only points in the game, with 1:43 left on the clock, a gap that they would sustain until the end.
“Give credit to Cebuana. They played a hell of a ballgame. They were not demoralized, they didn’t give this win on a silver platter,” said Big Chill coach Robert Sison.
“I’m just proud of the boys especially in the end game, my key players stepped up,” Sison added.
After trailing, 9-23, at the end of the first period, Cebuana Lhuillier slowly chipped away at the deficit before Marvin Hayes sparked the Gems in the third with 10 points including a 21-4 run at the end of that quarter to trim Big Chill’s lead to three, 58-61, heading into the final period.
The Gems started the fourth with an 8-2 blast to take command, 69-60, but the Superchargers made that pivotal run to pull off the win.
Vic Manuel finished the game with 17 points while Yousef Taha had 12 points and 12 rebounds for the Gems.
Big Chill 83—Mallari 20, Cortes 15, Reyes 13, Jensen 11, Ponferrada 10, Montilla 5, Collado 3, Villahermosa 3, Ttan 3.
Cebuana Lhuillier 80—Manuel 17, Taha 12, Hayes 10, Exciminiano 9, Lozada 9, Alvarez 9, Alas 5, Apinan 4, Austria 3, Llagas 2, Mangahas 0, Miranda 0.
Quarters: 23-9, 46-33, 58-61, 83-80.