Cafe France scores wire-to-wire win over UP to gain share of D-League lead with Caida
Rod Ebondo of Cafe France tries to stop Alfred Batino of UP. Dante Peralta

CAFÉ France-Centro Escolar University built a huge early lead and blew past University of the Philippines-QRS/JAM Liner, 94-73, on Thursday to gain a share of first place in the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.

The battle between two undefeated teams, expected to be tight, turned into a rout early as the Bakers started the game with an 11-0 blast and never looked back. The wire-to-wire victory put last conference’s champion on top of the standings with a 3-0 card, joining Caida Tiles.

Carl Bryan Cruz scored 15 points, including the basket that capped the early Bakers run. Samboy de Leon had 14 points, scoring five in that fiery start, while Rodrigue Ebondo also had 14 points and pulled down 12 rebounds for the Bakers.

“We had a very good start at biglang nawala ’yung laro ng UP. Credit to the boys talaga,” said Café France coach Egay Macaraya.

Raymond Aguilar had 14 points and 12 rebounds, while Kevin Ferrer chipped in 13 markers for UP-QRS/JAM, which dropped to 2-1.

The scores:
Café France 94 - Cruz 15, De Leon 14, Ebondo 14, Zamar 11, Abundo 10, Opiso 6, Villahermosa 6, Jeruta 5, Manlangit 5, Celso 4, Arim 2, Casino 2, Anunciacion 0.

UP-QRS/JAM 73 - Aguilar 14, Ferrer 13, Baloria 12, Alolino 7, Batino 6, Moralde 5, Soyud 5, Dario 4, Neypes 3, Asilum 2, Desiderio 2, Sorela 0, Vito 0.

Quarterscores: 29-12; 51-35; 80-57; 94-73.


Follow the writer on Twitter: @reubensports