LEAGUE-leader Che’Lu Bar and Grill slammed the door on Batangas-EAC, 100-93, and formalized the semifinals cast in the 2018 PBA D-League Foundation Cup Thursday at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
Jeff Viernes saved the day for the Revellers, dropping 13 of his 19 points in the payoff period, staving off the furious rally from the Generals.
With Batangas-EAC fighting back from 12-points down and cutting the deficit to just three, 96-93, in the last 1:37, Viernes took matters to his own hands and scored the last four points for Che’Lu, canning both of his free throws with 13.0 seconds left and a game-sealing one-hander with 5.2 seconds to spare.
Viernes also dished out eight assists and grabbed five rebounds.
Coach Stevenson Tiu, however, was unhappy with how the Revellers handled themselves. “Yun nga sinasabi ko eh, complacency. Siguro, ang tingin ng mga player namin, kaya naman i-walkthrough lang tung kalaban.”
“We have to prepare every game - lagi ko ineemphasize na we have to get ready, we have to practice hard para matranslate natin every game. Kita ninyo muntik pa nga kami.”
Che’Lu's victory (7-2) allowed third-place Marinerong Pilipino-TIP (5-3) and fourth-place CEU (5-4) to advance to the semifinals, with next week’s set of games determining the playoff positioning.
Stephen Siruma contributed 19 points, eight rebounds and seven assists, Jessie Collado got 18 and nine, while Jason Melano had 12 in the big win for the Revellers.
Cedric de Joya paced Batangas-EAC (3-6) with 19 points and four assists off the bench, while Clark Derige got a double-double of 18 and 11.
Che'Lu Bar and Grill 100 – Siruma 19, Viernes 19, Collado 18, Melano 12, Taganas 7, Bitoon 7, Sta. Ana 7, Mallari 5, Hernandez 4, Flores 2, Ng 0.
Batangas-EAC 93 – De Joya 19, Derige 18, Manalo 15, Arim 13, De Guzman 13, Dela Peña 8, Tabi 4, Bulawan 3, Delfinado 0, Diolanto 0, Harris 0, Mendoza 0, Saldana 0.
Quarterscores: 28-24; 57-50; 77-70; 100-93.