MON Abundo came up big in the final period to lift CafeFrance to a 65-58 win over Tanduay on Tuesday at the Filoil Flying V Arena to grab the upperhand in their PBA D-League Aspirants Cup best-of-three semifinal series.
Abundo scored seven of his nine points in a crucial run in the fourth period, sparking a 9-0 blast with a triple and hitting a lay-up that put the Bakers ahead, 60-54. He ended a short Tanduay run with two free throws with a minute left in the game.
The Bakers, champions of the Foundation Cup last year, can make it two finals appearances in a row next Tuesday as they vie for a sweep of their series against the Rhum Masters, the only team that beat CafeFrance in the elimination round.
“Nakabawi kami,” said CafeFrance coach Egay Macaraya.
“Good motivation for the team. The boys played hard. I guess they played good defense and I hope they’ll do it again.”
Rodrigue Ebondo finished with 14 points while Joseph Manlangit chipped in 11 points for the Bakers, who also got 10 points from Carl Bryan Cruz.
Pari Llagas and Von Pessumal had 13 points each for the Rhum Masters, while quarterfinal hero Val Acuna played only five minutes and wound up scoreless.
CafeFrance 65 — Ebondo 14, Manlangit 11, Cruz 10, Abundo 9, Villahermosa 9, De Leon 6, Jeruta 6, Arim 0, Casino 0, Celso 0, Opiso 0, Zamar 0.
Tanduay Light 58 — Llagas 13, Pessumal 13, Belencion 11, Javillonar 6, Celda 4, Eriobu 3, Lingganay 3, Santos 3, Wetherell 2, Acuna 0, Tagarda 0.
Quarterscores: 18-16; 32-28; 49-44; 65-58.