CEBUANA Lhuillier edged out Jumbo Plastic Linoleum, 60-54, on Monday in the PBA D-League Foundation Cup at The Arena in San Juan.
Out to bounce back after missing the last playoffs, the Gems got off to a fine start and beat the Giants, quarterfinalists in the Aspirant Cup.
The win also came on the 45th birthday of team owner Jean Henri Lhuillier.
“Nagkataon na birthday ni boss Jean Henri kaya magandang regalo para sa kanya,” said Cebuana Lhuillier head coach Boycie Zamar.
Alvin Padilla had 14 points — all in the first half, while Bam Bam Gamalinda added 13 points and Paul Zamar chipped in 11 for the Gems, who won despite failing to make a field goal in the final seven minutes of the game.
The Gems went on a drought after taking a 58-50 lead but the Giants couldn’t take advantage, scoring only two field goals the rest of the way.
Despite beating a playoff contender, Zamar downplayed the victory with the Gems acquiring veteran players instead of having the core of University of the East being a school-based team last conference.
“’Yung Jumbo, matagal na magkakasama ’yan, matagal na silang nag-jejell. Nagkataon lang na naunahan namin sila,” said Zamar.
Jumbo Plastic has not won since losing a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals against sixth-seed Blackwater Sports last conference.
Jeff Viernes was the lone double digit scorer for the Giants with 17 markers.
Cebuana Lhuillier (60) – Padilla 14, Gamalinda 13, Zamar 11, Leynes 6, Arellano 5, Ilad 4, Banal 4, Martinez 3, Banal 0, Paredes 0, Sarangay 0.
Jumbo Plastic Linoleum (54) – Viernes 17, Ballesteros 8, Dehesa 7, Colina 6, Villamor 4, Parala 3, Custodio 3, Canada 2, Tan 2, Romero 2, Magat 0, Petilos 0.
Quarterscores: 17-17; 38-34; 50-46; 60-54.