PHILIP Paniamogan and Paul Sanga spearheaded a sizzling rally in the final five minutes to power Hogs Breath Café to victory over Cagayan Valley, 82-78, on Thursday, handing the Rising Suns their first loss in the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
The Razorbacks, playing without head coach Caloy Garcia, overcame a 13-point deficit with a 19-2 wind-up to remain undefeated in two outings.
Garcia couldn’t make it to the Razorbacks’ match as he called the shots for Letran in Game Two of the NCAA finals against San Beda. The Knights won 79-74 to force a deciding match in the best of three series.
Paniamogan and Sanga struck just in time, scoring 13 of the team’s final 19 points to make the incredible comeback over the erstwhile league-leader.
Big Chill, the only other undefeated team in the conference, takes the lead in the team standings with a 3-0 win-loss slate followed by Hogs Breath. Cagayan Valley dropped to 4-1.
Cagayan Valley appeared to have the win in the bag after Adrian Celada hit a three-pointer for a 76-63 lead with 5:04 to go in the fourth.
“Nag-work naman ’yung fullcourt defense namin kaya nakahabol kami,” said Hogs Breath assistant coach Joel Jabar.
“Nasa sistema na rin namin na araw-araw namin ginagawa. Pumasok ’yung mga tira namin tapos nahirapan sila sa zone sa huli kaya nanalo kami,” said Jabar.
Paniamogan, who plays for Jose Rizal University in the NCAA, led the Razorbacks with 18 points as he connected on consecutive baskets including his only 3-pointer of the game to trim the lead to four points, 76-73. Joseph Terso hit a lay-up and Sanga buried a triple off a turnover to grab the lead, 78-76.
Paniamogan scored a lay-up and Cagayan Valley’s Mark Bringas hit two free throws for a two-point Hogs Breath lead. Sanga answered with a step-back jumper, 82-78, with 6.2 seconds to play.
Sanga had 16 points for the Razorbacks, while Julius Pasculado and Francis Allera added 15 and 12 points respectively.
Hogs Breath Café (82) – Paniamogan 18, Sanga 16, Pasculado 15, Allera 12, Robles 9, Bartolo 6, Terso 4, Austria 2, Ynion 0, Rios 0.
Cagayan Valley (78) – Trollano 16, Melano 15, Bringas 12, Pinto 9, Ighalo 7, Celada 7, Jamito 6, Mabulac 3, Caperal 2, Foronda 1, Mercader 0, Collado 0.
Quarterscores: 17-18; 31-40; 54-63; 82-78.