Former pro Eliud Poligrates a steady presence at crunchtime as Bakers keep title hopes alive
Eliud Poligrates comes up with six of Cafe France's 14 points in the final period. Jerome Ascano

DESPITE coming up with a measly two points in the first half, veteran Eloy Poligrates knew he couldn’t simply turn gun shy with the championship on the line.

The former pro nailed clutch baskets that lifted Cafe France over Hapee on Monday and helped keep alive the Bakers’ bid for a first-ever PBA D-League crown.

[See Cafe France turns back Hapee to force deciding match for D-League Foundation Cup title]

Poligrates scored six of the Bakers’ 14 fourth-quarter points, contributing to the balanced Bakers scoring led by Samboy de Leon, Alfred Batino and Rod Ebondo.

"Ang advantage ko siguro 'yung pagka-experienced ko. Gusto ko din kasi dalhin 'yung teammates ko para mahusay yung laro," Poligrates said.

The former PBA player also showed veteran poise at a time when players and team officials almost came to blows with a little under three minutes left to play.

"Nadala lang siguro sa pressure tsaka yung iba kasi wala pang experience sa championship, kaya tinulungan ko lang sila kumalma," the veteran added.

[See Team managers ejected as commotion mars D-League Finals. Watch VIDEO]

Poligrates also acknowledged the support of the fans who trooped to support the Bakers.

"Sana hindi sila magsawa sa suporta at pumunta sila sa next game."

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