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    Cebuana Lhuillier breaks out of slump, downs Big Chill to reach Foundation Cup semifinals

    May 20, 2014
    Gab Banal of Cebuana Lhuillier tries to get past Jeckster Apinan of Big Chill. Nuki Sabio / PBA D-League Images

    BAM Gamalinda and Alvin Padilla led a big fightback in the fourth period as Cebuana Lhuillier stopped upsest-conscious Big Chill, 67-60, on Tuesday in the PBA D-League Foundation Cup quarterfinals at the Meralco Gym.

    Gamalinda scored 21 points, seven of which came in a 20-3 fourth-quarter run, while Padilla had six of his 14 points in that crucial Cebuana Lhuillier run to help overcome a 10-point deficit in the knockout quarterfinal match to arrange a semifinal showdown with NLEX.

    Game One of the Gems-Road Warriors best-of-three semifinals is on Thursday at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.

    The fourth-ranked Gems ended their four-game losing skid at the most crucial time as they bounced back after giving up the twice-to-beat quarterfinal advantage with a loss to the Superchargers in the first game on Thursday.

    “’Yung panalo namin last time was April 24 against Boracay. That’s almost a month,” said Cebuana Lhuillier coach Boycie Zamar.

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    Cebuana Lhuillier made it to the semifinals for the first time since the inaugural conference of the developmental league in the 2010-2011 Foundation Cup where the Gems faced NLEX in the finals.

    “My players are not yet winners. But (at least) they have proven themselves today. Ang importante, nakalagpas kami,” said Zamar.

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    Fifth seed Big Chill failed to protect a 57-47 lead, losing that in the final eight minutes of play by making just one field goal.

    Cebuana Lhuillier scored 12 consecutive points, with Padilla scoring two free throws to tie the game at 57. Padilla failed to complete a three-point play on the Gems next possession but that put them ahead, 59-57.

    Villahermosa broke the Superchargers drought with a three but Gamalinda answered with a triple of his own, 62-60 with 2:39 left and the Gems never looked back.

    Villahermosa had 14 points, including three triples, while Rodney Brondial added 12 points for the Superchagers, who failed to make it to the finals for the second consecutive year.

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    The scores:

    Cebuana Lhuillier (67) – Gamalinda 21, Padilla 14, G. Banal 9, Arellano 8, Acibar 6, Ilad 5, Zamar 2, Sarangay 2, Leynes 0, Dilay 0, J. Banal 0, Mangahas 0, Paredes 0.

    Big Chill (60) – Villahermosa 14, Brondial 12, Celada 6, Apinan 6, Lozada 5, Maiquez 4, Heruela 4, Santos 4, Canlas 3, Bonifacio 2, Miranda 0, Belorio 0.

    Quarterscores: 17-18; 33-39; 46-52; 67-60.

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    Gab Banal of Cebuana Lhuillier tries to get past Jeckster Apinan of Big Chill. Nuki Sabio / PBA D-League Images
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