MAVERICK Ahanmisi scored a team-high 16 points as Café France solidified its bid for a quarterfinal incentive with a 67-62 overtime victory over Cebuana Lhuillier on Thursday in the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup at the JCSGO gym in Quezon City.
Ahanmisi scored five in overtime to power the Bakers to their seventh win in nine outings and a one-game lead over fourth-placed Jumbo Plastic Linoleum (6-3).
The Fil-Am guard hit a triple that put Café France ahead, 61-56, in the overtime. Cebuana Lhuillier was able to tie the game but the Bakers didn’t give up a field goal the rest of the way, with Ahanmisi making two free throws in the dying seconds.
Café France moved closer to clinching a twice-to-beat incentive for the third and fourth-place squads in the quarterfinals, giving head coach Egay Macaraya something to smile about as his team started 2015 on a high note after a long holiday break.
“This is the first time that we started the year with a win,” said Macaraya. “I told the boys that if we lose this game today, we won’t have a vacation anymore in December 2015.”
After Ahanmisi hit a triple with 1:02 left in regulation, Cebuana Lhuillier's Paul Zamar hit two of his three free throws after a foul by Samboy De Leon to send the game into overtime.
The Gems fell to 4-4.
Café France (67)—Ahanmisi 16, Ebondo 13, De Leon 11, Noble 8, Cortes 8, Abundo 6, Andrada 3, Huertas 2, Habelito 0, Galanza 0, Celso 0, Sedurifa 0, Batino 0.
Cebuana Lhuillier (62)—Zamar 19, Ferrer 11, Enciso 6, A. Mangahas 6, Torres 6, Vosotros 6, Guinto 6, Villahermosa 2, Lopez 0, Ciriacruz 0, Bautista 0, J. Mangahas 0, Sarangay 0.
Quarterscores: 15-16; 24-26; 43-36; 56-56; 67-62.