AARON Jeruta scored the decisive basket as Café France snapped a four-game skid with a 70-66 victory over Cagayan Valley on Monday in the PBA D-League Foundation Cup at the JCSGO gym in Quezon City.
Jeruta only had six points in the game in 18 minutes of action but his basket that beat the shot clock with 26.3 seconds remaining in the game won it for the Bakers.
The Bakers took a 67-66 lead with Jeruta’s basket and held off the Rising Suns until the final buzzer. Café France moved to joint fifth place with Big Chill with a 3-4 win-loss record.
The top two teams at the end of the eliminations qualify outright for the semifinals while the third to sixth-ranked squads play in the quarterfinals.
The win by the Centro Escolar University-backed Café France squad came after the Scorpions won their first two games in the Filoil preseason tournament.
“At least nakabawi na,” said Café France coach Egay Macaraya. “Siguro nasama na ’yung kumpiyansa sa Filoil, bumalik, nadala dito.”
Rod Ebondo led Café France with 14 points and 17 rebounds, while Mon Abundo and Jam Cortes had 10 points each.
Cagayan Valley (3-5) dropped to seventh place with one game to play in the eliminations. The Rising Suns are tied with Boracay Rum, which lost to Blackwater Sports, 94-96, in the first game.
Jeruta, who plays a limited role with Café France but is one of the top guards of CEU, came through in the clutch after both teams exchanged leads with Ed Daquioag hitting a lay-up with 50 seconds left for a 66-65 Cagayan Valley lead.
Café France (70) – Ebondo 14, Abundo 10, Cortes 10, Sedurifa 9, De Leon 8, Jeruta 6, Montilla 5, Acidre 3, Batino 3, Gallardo 2, Mutombo 0.
Cagayan Valley (66) – Daquioag 17, Ighalo 13, Gomez 7, Collado 6, Olivares 5, Revilla 5, Suguitan 3, Casajeros 3, Galliguez 3, Webb 2, Vidal 2, Lao 0.
Quarterscores: 14-18; 36-33; 54-52; 70-66.