ELOY Poligrates scored a game-high 29 points as Cagayan Valley handed Fruitas its first loss 80-74 on Thursday in the PBA D-League Foundation Cup at the JCSGO Gym in Quezon City.
The Cebuano guard converted crucial baskets down the stretch to avert a Fruitas comeback. Poligrates was ejected from the game after he was slapped with a second technical foul with 11.7 seconds left in the game.
All alone after forcing a turnover, Poligrates made a salute gesture before scoring on a layup. Referees gave him a technical foul for taunting.
Good thing, the win was already in the bag for Cagayan Valley.
“Nakukuha na niya ang kumpiyansa niya,” said Cagayan Valley mentor Alvin Pua, back with the team after missing a game to help in the campaign of his wife who is running for mayor in Alcala, Cagayan.
Poligrates’ second technical foul puzzled the coaching staff.
“Nagulat ako. Let go lang ’yun. Buti sana kung may kasunod na player,” Pua said of the incident.
The Rising Suns improved to 3-1, tying the Shakers in the standings.
The Shakers were intent to keep their unbeaten slate intact when they took a 65-63 lead. But Poligrates sparked a 12-3 run which Chris Canta capped with a lay-up for a 75-68 advantage.
Carlo Lastimosa had 12 points to lead Fruitas but had to sit out the waning moments of the game as he hobbled in the 2:30 mark of the game favoring his left knee.
Cagayan Valley (80) – Poligrates 29, Cruz 9, Celada 9, Bringas 9, Webb 8, Exciminiano 8, Montemayor 4, Canta 2, Melano 2, Del Rio 0.
Fruitas (74) – Lastimosa 12, Caperal 11, Pinto 10, Mendoza 10, Caram 8, Escobal 7, Escoto 6, Cruz 5, Pogoy 5, Tolomia 0, Banal 0, Antonio 0.
Quarterscores: 11-13; 38-32; 59-56; 80-74.