JP BELENCION tallied a game-high 21 points as Hog’s Breath Café halted Cebuana Lhuillier’s winning streak at three with an 85-72 victory on Tuesday in the PBA D-League Foundation Cup at the Ynares Sports Arena.
The Razorbacks (2-5) stayed in ninth place in the standings but is now just one game behind fifth placers Boracay Rum, Big Chill, and Cagayan Valley (3-4) with two games left in the elimination round.
The loss dropped Cebuana Lhuillier to joint second at 5-2 with Jumbo Plastic Linoleum.
The top two teams advance outright to the semifinals, while the third and sixth-ranked teams move to the quarterfinal round.
“We still have a slim chance dahil ’yung mga middle and bottom teams, nagtatatalo rin,” said Hog’s Breath Café coach Mike Buendia. “Sabi ko nga, let’s have fun and try to win a game kahit may slim chance.”
Hog’s Breath, a semifinalist in the last Aspirants Cup, outscored Cebuana Lhuillier, 29-12, in the third period and led 76-52 during the fourth period as its run-and-gun offense paid off.
“Keep on running lang ang instructions ko sa kanila dahil ’yung rotation naman namin hanggang 14th man. Tapos nag-click pa ’yung outside shooting ni JP (Belencion) kaya dumali ’yung laro sa amin,” Buendia said.
Belencion, an ex-pro who last played for Globalport in the PBA, had his best game in a Hog’s Breath uniform, shooting 7-of-13 from the field including two triples. He also collected six rebounds.
Kevin Racal added 14 points, while fellow Letran Knight Jamil Gabawan chipped in 11 points and seven rebounds.
The Gems face undefeated NLEX (7-0) on Tuesday.
Hog’s Breath Café (85) – Belencion 21, Racal 14, Gabawan 11, Robles 8, Terso 7, Ruaya 6, Sanga 5, Rios 3, Publico 3, Austria 3, Avillanoza 2, Gonzales 2, Najorda 0.
Cebuana Lhuillier (72) – Gamalinda 16, Acibar 13, Arellano 11, Martinez 10, Padilla 8, G. Banal 5, Zamar 4, J. Banal 3, Paredes 2, Leynes 0, Noble 0, Mangahas 0, Sarangay 0.
Quarterscores: 20-25; 43-40; 72-52; 85-72.