CHRIS Bitoon and Joshua Fontanilla came up big in the homestretch as Gamboa Coffee Mix-St. Clare repulsed Wangs Basketball-Letran, 87-76, on Tuesday at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig to complete the playoff cast in the PBA D-League Aspirants' Cup.
Fontanilla then made a steal that led to a Bitoon three-pointer.
Bitoon capped a 7-0 spurt with a layup as the Coffee Lovers took an 82-74 lead with under two minutes left.
The Coffee Lovers preserved that lead and accomplished their goal of making it to the next round with a 6-4 win-loss record, while eliminating the Couriers (5-5).
“Awa ng Diyos nag step up bench namin. Vey crucial yung kay Fontanilla. Sinwerte nag step up yung isang bata namin,” said Gamboa coach Jinino Manansala.
Trevis Jackson topscored for the Coffee Lovers with 29 points, with five rebounds and three assists, but turned the ball over 10 times.
Bitoon had 22 markers, three boards and four dimes, while Mohammed Pare and Aris Dionisio combined for 23 points, 25 rebounds and seven blocks.
"Win or go home kami. Kaya pala namin manalo ng five games. Expect ko dito lalaban lang e," Manansala said.
Bong Quinto paced the Couriers with 24 points while Bonbon Batiller fired 23 points, including back-to-back triples that pulled the team to within two, 75-73, with a little over four minutes remaining.