BORACAY Rum chalked up its fourth straight victory to further boost its quarterfinal hopes as the Waves defeated slumping Café France, 62-58, on Thursday in the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup at the JCSGO gym in Quezon City.
After a 0-5 start to the conference, the Waves (4-5) have recovered to move one win away from leveling their record, quarterfinal hopes still very much alive.
Boracay Rum tied Café France for seventh place, a half game behind fifth-running Fruitas and Jose Rizal University (4-4), in what has become a tight race for quarterfinal berths. Ties are broken with the winner-over-the-other rule.
The Waves will wrap up the elimination round against Fruitas and head coach Lawrence Chongson believes that a win will give the Waves a quarterfinal berth.
“If we beat Fruitas, pasok kami. Na-mathematics ko na ’yan. Nakita ko yung remaining games. But if we lose, wala,” said Chongson.
Roider Cabrera scored nine of his 15 points in the fourth quarter. The Adamson sniper also hit a triple with three minutes left in the game for a 60-52 cushion that proved to be enough for the Waves.
The Waves survived a late fight back by the Bakers after Mike Parala cut the deficit to two points, 60-58, as Cabrera sank two free throws with 7.2 seconds remaining.
“It’s an ugly win. Medyo na-pressure kami ng konti. Bata ang mga players,” Chongson said.
“Limang panalo ang kailangan, naka-apat na kami. Andoon din ang pressure. The more na nagiging realidad ’yung unang guni-guni, pumapasok din ang nerbiyos,” he added.
Marcy Arellano chipped in 10 points for the Waves.
Roger Pogoy had 17 points for Café France, which continued to slump after its shocking upset of three-time defending champion NLEX.
Boracay Rum (62) – Cabrera 15, Arellano 10, Eguilos 8, Siruma 7, Viernes 6, Bandaying 6, Ilagan 4, Santos 2, Acibar 2, Taha 2, Monteclaro 0, Sabellina 0.
Café France (58) – Pogoy 17, Nimes 11, Parala 10, Magbitang 5, Padilla 4, Knuttel 4, Batino 3, Mendoza 2, Lopez 2, Alas 0, Antipuesto 0.
Quarterscores: 18-17, 33-31, 49-46, 62-58.