CAGAYAN Valley defeated National University-Banco De Oro, 101-72, on Monday at the JCSGO gym in its first game after a month-long break, solidifying its bid for a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals of the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup.
Mark Bringas led the Rising Suns with 21 points and 14 rebounds, while Don Trollano and Adrian Celada converted crucial triples down the stretch to come away with the victory.
The Rising Suns improved their record to 8-3, tying Hog’s Breath Café for fourth place in the team standings. The third and fourth place teams at the end of the elimination round will have a twice-to-beat edge in the quarterfinals.
It was the Rising Suns’ first game since December 12, when they lost to Big Chill, 89-75.
“Medyo nakaapekto rin,” said Cagayan Valley assistant coach Nonoy Bonleon, on the long break. “Pero kinakausap namin sila na pagbalik namin sa mahabang bakasyon, seryosong practice na kami.”
Bringas had 15 points in the first half as the Rising Suns took a 54-46 lead but the Bulldogs rallied and were able to cut the deficit to one point on a triple by Robin Roño, 91-90, with 3:22 left in the fourth.
Trollano and Celada clinched the win with triples from the right and left wing for a 97-90 spread.
Celada had 20 points, shooting 5-of-13 from beyond-the-arc, while Trollano added 16 points, making 3 of 9 attempts from three-point range.
NU-BDO dropped to 2-8 despite the return of head coach Eric Altamirano following a scouting trip in the United States.
Troy Rosario had 24 points, 13 rebounds, and five blocks for the Bulldogs, who also got 18 points and 15 reounds from Glenn Khobuntin.
Cagayan Valley (101) – Bringas 21, Celada 20, Trollano 16, Melano 15, Collado 10, Mabulac 8, Cruz 7, Pinto 4, Mercader 0, Jamito 0, Ighalo 0, Parala 0, Gonzales 0, Foronda 0.
NU-BDO (92) – Rosario 24, Khobuntin 18, Parks 15, Roño 12, Labingisa 9, Villamor 7, Javelona 4, Neypes 2, Perez 1, Celda 0.
Quarterscores: 20-22; 54-46; 78-72; 101-92.