CAFÉ France held NLEX to just four points in the final period to as the Superchargers triumphed 66-52 and halted the Road Warriors’ win streak at 24 on Tuesday in the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup at the Trinity Gym in Quezon City.
The Road Warriors led by four after the third period but scored only four in an atrocious fourth, allowing the Bakers to seize control and register their fourth victory in six outings. NLEX remained on top after their first loss in seven games in the tournament.
The Bakers were down 44-48 when Marion Magat started the rally, the Bakers scoring 11 in a span of six minutes for a 55-48 lead before the Warriors finally answered with a Ronald Pascual layup that made it 50-55.
Jens Knuttel scored all but two points in a 9-2 run for Café France to seal the win and hand NLEX its first loss since two conferences ago.
NLEX bowed to the Big Chill Super Chargers, 66-83, in Game One of the Aspirants Cup semifinals in January, but went on to win the title. They then completed a clean sweep of the Foundation Cup.
“Ang motivation ko lang sa kanila (players) is to make history,” said Cafe France coach Edgar Macaraya. “And history is made.”
Knuttel finished with 14 points, including eight in the last quarter, while Magat finished with a double-double performance of 13 markers and 14 rebounds and Alvin Padilla added 10 for Cafe France.
“Hindi nag-give up ang mga bata. Give them all the credit," said Macaraya, calling the win a miracle.
“Christmas season, palaging mayroong milagro.”
Jake Pascual was the lone player who finished in double digits for the Road Warriors with 10 points.
The Road Warriors made nothing out of 17 attempts from the three-point line and dished out only six assists compared to Cafe France's 13.
"Nawala ang effort namin," said NLEX coach Boyet Fernandez. "And we didn’t play as a team."