FRUITAS emerged on top after another nerve-racking and energy-sapping battle, edging Blackwater Sports, 95-91, in double overtime on Tuesday to grab the solo lead in the PBA D-League Foundation Cup at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
Just two days after fighting back from 22 points down to beat Cebuana Lhuillier, the Shakers were made to work hard by Blackwater for their third win in as many games. The Elite suffered their first loss of the conference.
“Sobrang laki ng tulong,” said Fruitas assistant coach Eric Gonzales of their morale-boosting come-from-behind 75-72 win over Cebuana Lhuillier.
“Kanina palang bago palang ’yung laro, sabi ko sa kanila, yung first game blowout, tapos come-from-behind. Sabi ko ’wag kayo masorpresa na one, two, three points lang this time.”
Carlo Lastimosa led the Shakers in scoring with 21 points but it was John Pinto and Far Eastern University cagers Mike Tolomia and Russell Escoto who took charge in the second overtime.
Pinto, Tolomia and Escoto took turns in the Shakers’ hot start in the second extension with an 8-2 run for a 92-86 lead.
Allan Mangahas trimmed the deficit for Blackwater Sports to three points, 92-89, but Pinto and Carl Bryan Cruz hit crucial free throws towards the end.
Fruitas had two chances to take the victory in regulation but Cruz missed two three-pointers.
Blackwater Sports was up, 82-79, midway in the first overtime but Anjo Caram buried a game-tying triple at the two minute mark. Cruz also scored a lay-up that tied the count at 84.
Fruitas (95) – Lastimosa 21, Pinto 14, Escoto 11, Pogoy 10, Cruz 9, Caram 8, Antonio 6, Tolomia 5, Mendoza 5, Escobal 4, Colina 2, Banal 0, Caperal 0.
Blackwater Sports (91) – Mangahas 22, Llagas 19, Chua 16, Vigil 10, Ferrer 10, Celiz 7, Pe 4, Suguitan 2, Austria 1, Bagatsing 0, G. Ciriacruz 0.
Quarterscores: 22-14; 37-32; 63-62; 77-77; 84-84; 95-91.