MICHAEL Juico made the game-winning three-point play, lifting Derulo Accelero over Boracay Rum, 86-83, on Thursday, and in the process sending Café France to the quarterfinals of the PBA D-League Foundation Cup.
Juico scored 11 of his 22 points in the fourth period, converting a lay-up with 3.4 seconds on a perfectly-executed inbounds pass to break the tie and completing the Oilers’ comeback from 15 points down.
After losing its first six games, Derulo Accelero came up with three straight wins for a 3-6 card, ending up in a five-way tie for sixth place with Café France, Boracay Rum, Hog’s Breath Café, and Cagayan Valley at the end of the eliminations.
Café France, however, clinched the sixth and final spot in the quarterfinals due to a superior quotient. The Bakers will play third-ranked Blackwater Sports (6-3), which holds a twice-to-beat advantage in the series starting on Thursday.
With their quarterfinal chances wresting on the game, the Café France players and coaches watched as Derulo Accelero came storming back from a 52-37 deficit in the third.
“Sa three straight wins namin, lagpas na kami sa quota,” said an elated Derulo Accelero coach Paolo Mendoza, who expressed satisfaction with their conference after winning just one game in the Aspirants Cup.
“’Yung ibang talo namin, close game, hindi naman siya blowout. Breaks of the game lang,” Mendoza added.
Jackson Corpuz had 13 points while Jiovanni Jalalon had 13 points and nine assists including the pass that led to Juico’s game-winner. Clark Bautista had 11 points, nine in the final canto.
Rudy Lingganay and Chris Banchero each had 22 points as the Waves ended their conference in disappointment.
Boracay Rum last tasted the lead, 79-78, on split charities by Banchero. Despite an 82-79 deficit, the Waves were still able to tie on Belo’s open shot with 5.1 seconds left in the game, 83-83.
Derulo Accelero (86) – Juico 22, Corpuz 13, Jalalon 13, Bautista 11, Acosta 10, Roncal 5, Manuel 5, Soyud 5, Morillo 2, Importante 0.
Boracay Rum (83) – Lingganay 22, Banchero 22, Bautista 11, Ignacio 10, Belo 9, Ilagan 6, Sabellina 2, Tagarda 1, Siruma 0, Eguilos 0, Rono 0.
Quarterscores: 14-25; 30-34; 51-61; 86-83.