ARVIE Bringas nailed a crucial four-point play in overtime as Big Chill stunned four-time champion NLEX, 86-77, on Tuesday in the PBA D-League Foundation Cup at The Arena in San Juan.
Bringas, who built a reputation as a 'bad boy' during his time with Far Eastern University in the UAAP, came good this time, scoring 12 of the Superchargers’ final 13 to power the Superchargers to the opening-day win.
With the shot clock winding down, Bringas drained a three-pointer and was fouled by Jake Pascual. He completed the four-point play to give Big Chill an 80-77 lead with 27.7 seconds remaining in overtime.
On NLEX’s next play, RR Garcia missed an open triple that led to Bringas scoring on a fastbreak layup for the last of his 19 points with 17.9 seconds remaining.
NLEX, in its first game since winning the Aspirants Cup just two weeks ago, crumbled in the waning moments as it failed to convert a single field goal and committed crucial turnovers in the final minute of the extra period.
Big Chill coach Robert Sison admitted they caught NLEX at the right moment.
“I think we just got NLEX at the right time,” Sison said. “I think nasa celebration mood pa sila. And we were so prepared against them. I don’t want to downplay this win pero kumbaga, nagkasalubong kami na handang handa kami and they are still celebrating.”
“I’m proud of my players because they gave their best,” Sison added.
Big Chill had a chance to win it in regulation when Mac Montilla was fouled with 0.8 seconds left and NLEX leading 73-72. Montilla tied it with the first free throw but missed the second.
Big Chill led by as many as 14 points, 42-28, in the second period but NLEX took a 22-11 advantage in the third to take a 54-53 lead.
Led by Garcia’s 10 points in the fourth, NLEX took a 71-63 lead with less than four minutes in the game before Big Chill rallied to force overtime.
“I love this team because this team never gives up until the last buzzer,” Sison said.
Nico Salva and Eric Camson had 14 points each for NLEX, which missed Greg Slaughter and Ian Sangalang.
Slaughter remained sidelined with a shoulder injury while Sangalang’s playing status with NLEX remained in doubt as he is being eyed to play for longtime patron Dennis Pineda's rookie ballclub.
Big Chill (86) – Nuyles 22, Bringas 19, Montilla 8, Villahermosa 8, Santos 6, Lozada 6, Montecastro 5, Heruela 4, Dumapig 4, Holstein 2, Canlas 2.
NLEX (77) – Salva 14, Camson 14, Garcia 12, J. Pascual 9, Long 8, Lanete 6, Alas 5, R. Pascual 4, Villarias 3, Ganuelas 2, Amer 0, Hermida 0.
Quarterscores: 20-15; 42-32; 53-54; 73-73; 86-77.