CafeFrance sweeps Tanduay to book return trip to D-League finals
Mon Abundo and three others score in doble digits for CafeFrance. PBA D-League Images

CAFEFRANCE is going back to the PBA D-League finals.

The Bakers held Tanduay scoreless in the last two minutes, winning, 72-63, on Tuesday to sweep their Aspirants Cup semifinals series at the Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan.

The Bakers scored 10 unanswered points in the final stretch of Game Two of the best-of-three series to book their second consecutive finals appearance.

Samboy de Leon scored 13 points including a triple with 31 seconds to play to put the Bakers ahead, 67-63. CafeFrance sealed the win with Mon Abundo intercepting an inbound pass on the next possession for a six-point cushion.

CafeFrance, which beat Hapee in the Foundation Cup last year, will face either Phoenix Petroleum or Caida Tile in the best-of-five title series.

“I guess the boys deserve it because of their hardwork and preparation,” said CafeFrance coach Egay Macaraya.

“Marami kaming injuries but the boys showed character and the heart of the champion.”

Tanduay looked set to force a series decider after erasing a 16-point deficit and taking a 63-62 fourth-quarter lead, but CafeFrance fought back.

Rodrigue Ebondo of Congo had a double-double of 13 points and 12 rebounds, while Abundo tallied 12 points and seven rebounds for the Bakers, who will enter the finals with only one defeat.

Rudy Lingganay finished with 17 points while Val Acuna added 14 points for the Rhum Masters.

The scores:

CafeFrance 72 — De Leon 13, Ebondo 13, Abundo 12, Cruz 10, Jeruta 9, Zamar 9, Opiso 5, Casino 1, Manlangit 0, Villahermosa 0.

Tanduay 63 — Lingganay 17, Acuna 14, Santos 9, Tagarda 8, Llagas 7, Pessumal 5, Belencion 3, Belleza 0, Cenal 0, Javillonar 0, Wetherell 0.

Quarterscores: 19-16; 43-28; 51-44; 72-63.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @reubensports