Weary Ola Adeogun, Art Dela Cruz willed Fresh Fighters in decisive win over Gems
Ola Adeogun scored seven of his 20 points in the final four minutes of Hapee's 73-66 win over Cebuana Lhuillier in their do-or-die encounter for the last finals berth in the D-League Foundation Cup. Jerome Ascano

FOR Ola Adeogun and Art dela Cruz, the desire of winning prevailed over any other feeling.

Not even fatigue could stop the San Beda stalwarts as they ended up celebrating for the second straight day with a 73-66 win over Cebuana Lhuillier in the decisive Game Three of the PBA D-League Foundation Cup semis.

Coming off a title run with the Red Lions in the Filoil Flying V Hanes Premier Cup, Adeogun and Dela Cruz towed the Fresh Fighters a day later past the Gems to advance to the finals.

Adeogun was motivated as ever as he poured in seven of his 20 points in the last four minutes, where the Fresh Fighters delivered the biggest baskets that put the Gems’ late comeback for naught.

“I came from a championship game yesterday but this is another championship game for me,” Adeogun said. “I was just playing, stayed in the game.”

Fresh Fighters coach Ronnie Magsanoc felt it was the Red Lions’ determination that got them going.

“Wala na talaga… Tirik na si Ola and pagod na si Art. In the end, it was all about the heart of the boys to make things happen,” the champion mentor said.

“I’m just thankful for the sacrifices of all the players,” he added.

One way to preserve Adeogun and Dela Cruz was doing away from a man-to-man defense that required a heavier workload.

“The situation forced us to play zone and it was not by design,” Magsanoc said.

“I don’t know how it worked,” he was quick to add as the Gems shot a paltry 2-of-24 from three-point range in the first half that allowed the Fresh Fighters to erect an early lead.

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