JAMES Martinez buried a crucial three-pointer late as Cebuana Lhuillier escaped with a 68-66 victory over Boracay Rum on Tuesday in the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup at the Blue Eagle Gym.
The former University of the East Red Warrior converted a triple with 1:25 left in the fourth to give the Gems a 66-65 edge, helping the team snap out of a three-game losing streak.
It was a relief for the wards of head coach Boycie Zamar who won for just the second time in six games. The Gems will resume their Aspirants Cup campaign next month.
“This is our last game for the year. We have a lot of catching up to do. Hopefully, the one-month break will help us improve,” Zamar said.
Boracay Rum continued its alarming slide, falling to 2-5 after a third straight defeat.
After trailing 10-22 at the end of the first period, the Waves rallied to take a 59-54 lead but could not hold on in the final seven minutes of play.
Martinez finished with 15 points while Roi Sumang added 12 markers for the Gems.
Cebuana Lhuillier (68)—Martinez 15, Sumang 12, Paredes 10, Zamar 9, Banal 8, Aguilar 8, Padilla 3, Javier 2, Leynes 1.
Boracay Rum (66)—Taha 13, Belo 12, Cabrera 11, Siruma 8, Sabellina 7, Banchero 6, Viernes 5, Arellano 4, Bautista 0, Ilagan 0, Tagarda 0, Eguilos 0.
Quarterscores: 22-10; 39-25; 52-50; 68-66.