BOBBY Ray Parks scored 23 points as an undermanned Hapee squad beat Cebuana Lhuillier, 72-66, on Thursday at the Technological Institute of the Philippines gym to remain unbeaten in the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup.
Parks scored 17 in the first half to lead as the eight-man Fresh Fighters took control early despite missing six San Beda players.
The Gems rallied in the fourth but simply could not stop the Fresh Fighters from posting their fifth straight victory.
“The absence of the six players was sorely felt as early as the second quarter. We just tried to hang in there but fatigue eventually caught up in the fourth,” Hapee coach Ronnie Magsanoc.
Hapee was without Ola Adeogun, Baser Amer, Art Dela Cruz, Ryusei Koga, Jaypee Mendoza, and Michole Sorela, who played for San Beda in the PCCL Game One finals against La Salle.
[See San Beda one win away from PCCL title as Red Lions rally past La Salle Green Archers in Game One]
The Gems pulled to within two points, 63-65, on a triple by Mar Villahermosa with 2:31 left in the fourth. But Garvo Lanete converted four crucial free throws in the endgame to help Hapee stay ahead.
Lanete had 12 points but converted only four of his 12 shots from the field.
“Coming into the game the guys promised that they would fight for the win not just to play. I’m just so proud of them,” said Magsanoc, relieved that the team is having a two-week break.
The Gems dropped to 2-3.
Hapee (72) – Parks 23, Lanete 12, Rosario 9, Long 9, Hayes 7, Thompson 5, Newsome 5, Van Opstal 2.
Cebuana Lhuillier (66) – Vosotros 20, Villahermosa 14, A. Mangahas 9, Torres 6, Enciso 5, Ferrer 2, Arellano 2, Lopez 1, Canlas 0, Acibar 0, Zamar 0, J. Mangahas 0, Sarangay 0.
Quarterscores: 22-13; 35-28; 52-42; 72-66.