MOALA Tautuaa had a rousing debut for Cagayan Valley but it was Abel Galliguez who stole the show in the endgame as the Rising Suns won in thrilling fashion over Café France, 89-84, on Thursday at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
Galliguez scored 10 of his 12 points in the second overtime, including a four-point play to seal the win for the Rising Suns, who joined Hapee on top of the standings with a 4-0 win-loss record.
The Rising Suns atoned for their collapse in regulation when they lost a six-point lead with one minute to go in the fourth, then forced a second overtime when Ali Austria hit a three-pointer with 0.3 seconds left.
Galliguez then took over from there and Rising Suns managed to keep their record unblemished.
“I got an opportunity in the second overtime and fortunately, I hit my shots,” said Galliguez.
Playing in his first D-League game after a stint in the Asean Basketball League, Tautuaa finished with 26 points, seven rebounds, and three assists as the Fil-Tongan made his presence felt early for the Rising Suns.
A triple by Tautuaa made it a 61-52 lead in regulation and the Rising Suns made that 67-61 on a triple by Randy Dilay with 50.5 seconds left. In the dying seconds, however, Maverick Ahanmisi intercepted a pass from Andrian Celada that led to Rod Ebondo making two free throws with 12 seconds to play to send the game into the first overtime.
After Jonar Huertas split his two free throws for a 76-73 Café France lead, Austria converted a leaning three-pointer, upheld after a video review, for another extra session.
Cagayan Valley held on after Galliguez’s four-point play with 2:26 left in the second overtime put the Rising Suns ahead 84-76.
"It was just like practice everyday. Ball come to me, shot with confidence, and it went in," said Galliguez.
Dilay added 13 markers on 3-of-7 from threes while Ali Austria added 11 points for the Rising Suns.
The Bakers lost for the first time this conference to bow to a 3-1 win-loss card.
Cagayan Valley (89) – Tautuaa 26, Dilay 13, Galliguez 12, Austria 11, Mabulac 10, Salamat 5, Olayon 4, Celada 3, Tayongtong 3, Trollano 2, Flores 0, Melano 0.
Café France (84) – Huertas 19, Sedurifa 15, Ahanmisi 13, Ebondo 13, Abundo 7, Andrada 6, Cortez 4, Galanza 3, Jeruta 2, Batino 2, Habelito 0, De Leon 0, Noble 0.
Quarterscores: 13-18; 31-30; 47-43; 67-67; 76-76; 89-84.