Hapee squeaks past MP Hotel to gain twice-to-beat advantage in D-League quarterfinals
Nigerian center Ola Adeogun and three other Fresh Fighters score in double-figures. Jerome Ascano

HAPEE used a late run in the fourth quarter to pull off an 87-81 come-from-behind win over MP Hotel on Monday to clinch a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals of the PBA D-League Foundation Cup at the Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan.

The Fresh Fighters launched an 11-0 blast with Ola Adeogun, Chris Newsome, and Baser Amer leading the way to pull away for good after the Warriors led by as many as 10 points in the game.

Hapee finished the eliminations with a 6-3 win-loss record.

“Just to make it to the playoffs was our wish. Tinrabaho ng mga bata na makuha ’yung twice-to-beat advantage. But we have to be ready to work harder,” said Hapee coach Ronnie Magsanoc.

Hapee fell 69-79 behind the lowly MP Hotel squad, which only won one game in the eliminations.

The Warriors were still ahead 67-64 early in the fourth when Adeogun, Newsome, and Amer took over in scoring the key baskets to give the Fresh Fighters a 75-67 lead.

Art de la Cruz led Hapee in scoring with 15 points, while Adeogun chipped in 14 points. Newsome and Amer had 13 and 11 points, respectively, for the Fresh Fighters.

The loss spoiled the effort of Jopher Custodio, who connected on five triples and finished with 17 points, for MP Hotel (1-7).

“They create mismatches. Mahirap kalaban kasi nothing to lose, well-coached, good team. Kulang lang sa height,” Magsanoc added.

The scores:

Hapee (87)—Dela Cruz 15, Adeogun 14, Newsome 13, Amer 11, Thompson 9, Rosario 6, Mendoza 6, Elorde 4, Villahermosa 3, Koga 2, Long 2, Sorela 2, Romero 0.

MP Hotel (81)—Custodio 17, Mirza 17, Nambatac 15, Cruz 9, Acidre 8, Quinto 5, Dela Pena 4, Masaglang 2, Colina 2, Mendoza 2, Apreku 0.

Quarterscores: 14-13; 34-39; 62-60; 87-81.

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