MARK Bringas drained a jumper with 3.8 seconds left to lift Cagayan Valley over Zambales M-Builders, 91-87, and into the solo lead in the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup on Tuesday at the Arellano University gym.
Bringas hoisted the shot off an inbound pass by Don Trollano to disappoint the M-Builders, which mounted a furious comeback late in the game.
The victory earned Cagayan Valley a 2-0 win-loss record for the early lead in the team standings.
Bringas’ heroics also preserved the effort of Trollano, who once again came up huge in offense with 27 points.
Cagayan Valley also staved off Zambales’ rally led by Bringas’ former Far Eastern University teammates Mike Tolomia and Roger Pogoy, who knocked down back-to-back triples to tie the game at 87 with 5.9 seconds to go.
Ken Ighalo had 10 of his 20 points in Cagayan Valley’s 25-point third quarter but even that effort could not give the Rising Suns headway in the game.
The Rising Suns grabbed control when John Pinto, playing in his first game with the team after his NCAA stint with Arellano, hit back-to-back baskets and Trollano sank a triple for a 78-74 advantage. Another Trollano triple increased the Rising Suns’ lead to 81-76.
Celada had 16 points while Pinto had a rousing debut with 12 points,11 rebounds, and eight assists. Bringas had eight points and 11 rebounds.
Zambales dropped to 1-1 after posting an opening day victory last week.
Cagayan Valley (91) – Trollano 27, Ighalo 20, Celada 16, Pinto 12, Bringas 8, Caperal 4, Mercader 2, Mabulac 2, Saycon 0, Foronda 0.
Zambales M-Builders (87) – Mendoza 15, Cruz 14, Tolomia 12, Gomez 10, Ignacio 9, Vidal 9, Pogoy 7, Doligon 7, Alabanza 2, Saret 2, Maniago 0, Wong 0.
Quarterscores: 22-13; 42-37; 67-66; 91-87.