REIL Cervantes and Brian Heruela took over in second half as Big Chill bounced back from a flat start to beat Boracay Rum, 94-91, on Monday in the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup at the JCSGO gym in Quezon City.
Cervantes and Heruela combined for 25 of Big Chill’s 40 points in the second half as the Superchargers staved off an upset to gain first place with an 11-1 win-loss mark, ahead of NLEX at 10-1.
The ex-pro Cervantes finished with 28 points, making 4 of 7 attempts from behind-the-arc, while Heruela added 10 points and 10 assists for the Superchargers, who played their first game after a 40-day break.
“The long break really took toll on us,” said Big Chill coach Robert Sison. “In the first half, our defense and offense was not in game mode. It was a good thing that the whole team stepped up in the second half and our defense carried us to the win.”
Fighting for pride after being eliminated from the quarterfinal picture, Boracay Rum held early double digit leads against Big Chill and a 52-44 halftime lead.
Cervantes and Heruela spearheaded a furious rally at the resumption of the match with a 9-0 run to grab the lead in the third period.
Heruela finally gave Big Chill the lead for good with a three-point play he failed to complete but allowing the Superchargers to take a 93-91 lead with 29.1 seconds left. Cervantes split his two free throws with 7.6 seconds remaining to settle the final score.
“Brian and Reil played well offensively and defensively but it was a total team effort,” said Sison.
Mac Belo had 20 points and 15 rebounds while Chris Banchero added 17 points and seven assists for Boracay Rum, which finished its campaign with a 6-7 win-loss slate.
Big Chill (94) – Cervantes 28, Apinan 12, Heruela 10, Villahermosa 10, Mirza 8, Lozada 8, Maiquez 7, Baloria 6, Canlas 3, Brondial 2, Santos 0.
Boracay Rum (91) – Belo 20, Banchero 17, Taha 12, Cabrera 10, Bautista 7, Ilagan 7, Viernes 6, Arellano 4, Tagarda 4, Sabellina 2, Eguilos 1, Rosopa 1.
Quarterscores: 20-29; 44-52; 68-69; 94-91.