MARK CANLAS picked up Terrence Romeo’s miss in the final seconds and converted a buzzer-beating layup to give Big Chill a 77-76 win over upset-minded newcomer Air21-Jose Rizal University on Thursday in the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
Big Chill coach Robert Sison turned to Romeo for the final play of the game but the Far Eastern University star missed a fadeaway shot. The loose ball then went to Canlas, who nailed the layup just in the nick of time.
The last-second shot by the former University of Santo Tomas cager allowed the Superchargers, one of the pre-tournament favorites after acquiring several top players in the collegiate ranks, to survive a tough stand by the Heavy Bombers.
“I’m not satisfied with the way we played,” said Sison. “We still have to work on our chemistry, medyo nagkakapaan pa.”
Canlas finished with 14 points while Romeo added 13 points. Janus Lozada added 11 markers while Arvie Bringas added 10 points and 12 rebounds.
Lozada, Mar Villahermosa and Canlas converted three-pointers in the fourth for a 73-65 lead with nearly four minutes remaining.
The Heavy Bombers came back and tied the game at 75 on a jumper by Rocky Acidre. After a Big Chill turnover, Dexter Maiquez split his charities to give JRU a slim 76-75 lead with 20.6 seconds remaining.
Maiquez had nine of his 19 points in the fourth, while Acidre and Jeckster Apinan each had 10.
Big Chill (77) – Canlas 14, Romeo 13, Lozada 11, Bringas 10, Canta 8, Montilla 7, Montecastro 6, Villahermosa 6, Santos 2, Semira 0, Collado 0.
Air21 JRU (76) – Maiquez 19, Acidre 17, Mirza 10, Apinan 10, Lopez 7, Caperal 5, Villarias 4, Pinto 2, Miranda 2, Dela Paz 0, Almario 0, Ighalo 0.
Quarterscores: 14-15; 33-35; 52-55; 77-76.