OLA Adeogun debuted with a huge double-double performance as Fruitas escaped with a 91-90 win over Cebuana Lhuillier on Tuesday for its first win in the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup at the Trinity University of Asia gym in Quezon City.
The Nigerian center scored 30 points and grabbed 13 rebounds for the Shakers, who evened their record to 1-1 after their win in their opener was forfeited by league officials for fielding ineligible player Joseph Erioubu.
Fruitas nearly lost the game after a wild finish, with Cebuana Lhuillier missing two chances to win with less than a second to play.
Rex Leynes was fouled by Anjo Caram with 0.7 seconds left but he missed both free throws. June Dizon grabbed the rebound off Leynes’ second miss from the stripe and hit a hook shot, but the video replays showed the shot was made after the buzzer.
“Ang importante is we learn from this game kung ano man ang mistakes namin,” said Fruitas coach Nash Racela. “Thankful kami na hindi counted ’yun. We should have been able to get that rebound but it’s a learning experience for us.”
“We only had five practices as a team but we have a lot to learn,” Racela added.
Adeogun was unstoppable in the paint, scoring 14 points in the third quarter to fire up the Shakers, who held their biggest lead at 73-59.
The Gems came storming back with 11 straight markers and even took the lead, 87-84, when newcomer John Rowe and Jopher Custodio hit three straight triples.
Carlo Lastimosa quickly tied the game with a three-point play, then scored off a turnover to help Fruitas regain control at the game's final one-minute, 14-second mark.
Paul Zamar hit a triple to cut Fruitas’ lead to one point. Rome Dela Rosa missed two free throws with 8.6 ticks on the clock before that wild finish that nearly cost the Shakers the game.
Fruitas (91) – Adeogun 30, Lastimosa 19, Dela Rosa 8, Belleza 6, Silungan 6, Caram 5, Terso 5, Colina 4, Escueta 4, Hernandez 2, Pascual 2, Mendoza 0, Koga 0, Paguia 0.
Cebuana Lhuillier (90) – Dizon 17, Zamar 14, Custodio 13, Leynes 11, Rowe 8, Sarangay 8, Mabayo 5, Aguilar 4, Daroya 3, Buensuceso 3, Bagares 2, Mangahas 2, Trinidad 0, Suguitan 0.
Quarterscores: 25-18; 43-44; 73-67; 91-90.