Cagayan Valley squeaks past Racal Motors in overtime to stay unbeaten
Abel Galliguez of Cagayan Valley tries to force a shot against Racal Motors’ Jeff Viernes. Dante Peralta

CAGAYAN Valley had a 21-point first-half lead but still needed overtime to beat Racal Motors, 95-86, to keep its slate unblemished in the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup on Monday at the Marikina Sports Complex.

Moala Tautuaa scored 10 of his 11 points in the final two periods of the game as the Rising Suns survived the Alibaba to improve their record to 7-0 before the Christmas break.

Cagayan Valley, which played without suspended head coach Alvin Pua, survived after seeing its 32-11 lead slip away.

[See Cagayan Valley coach Alvin Pua suspended three games, fined P50,000 for 'physical contact' with referee

Racal Motors took an 82-78 lead with two and a half minutes to go in regulation.

Tautuaa tied the game with four clutch free throws and Michael Mabulac later scored an unmolested lay-up to send the game into overtime, 84-84. Adrian Celada hit a triple to spark a 9-1 windup for Cagayan Valley to save the victory.

“Baka nag-overconfident. Nagkapalitan ng momentum nung third and fourth. Buti nalusutan namin,” said Cagayan Valley assistant coach Nonoy Bonleon.

“Para na rin kaming natalo. Mabuti na rin na nangyari sa amin ito ngayon,” added Bonleon, in charge for at least two more games with Pua out due to a three-game suspension for a contact with referees last week.

Don Trollano led the Rising Suns in scoring with 16 points while Eric Salamat had 15, scoring 12 in the first quarter. Abel Galliguez had nine points on a miserable 3-of-12 shooting.

The Alibaba, who played without head coach Caloy Garcia who is busy with his assistant coaching duties with Rain or Shine in the PBA, fell to 2-6.

Jeff Viernes notched a conference-high 34 points to help the Alibaba fight back but scored just one field goal in overtime.

The scores:

Cagayan Valley (95) – Trollano 16, Salamat 15, Tautuaa 11, Galliguez 9, Dilay 8, Celada 7, Flores 7, Mabulac 7, Austria 6, Tayongtong 5, Mag-isa 2, Melano 2, Capacio 0.

Racal Motors (89) – Viernes 34, Gabawan 11, Jamito 11, Ortouste 9, Ibay 8, DiGregorio 5, Mercader 3, Gil 3, Reyes 2, Saitanan 2, Ruaya 0, Ambuludto 0, Canta 0, Publico 0.

Quarterscores: 27-11; 50-32; 67-61; 84-84; 95-89.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @reubensports