CAFEFRANCE leveled the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup finals series at a game apiece after an 86-77 win over Phoenix Petroleum in Game Two on Tuesday at the Filoil Flying V Center.
Carl Bryan Cruz had 18 points including crucial baskets in the endgame, Paul Zamar added 13 points, and the Bakers sustained the big lead they built in the first half to tie the best-of-five series.
Game Three is set on Thursday at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
The Bakers raced to a 49-34 halftime lead which swelled to as many as 21 points in the third quarter, 65-44, which proved enough to cushion a fourth-quarter run by the Accelerators.
“Kami naman ‘yung may energy at may effort. We learned a lot from the loss. Hopefully, sa third game, pareho na ‘yung intensity (of both teams), then we will see,” said CafeFrance coach Egay Macaraya.
CafeFrance saw its lead sliced to four points, 81-77., but Cruz made a three-point play and a follow-up shot in the Bakers’ next two possessions to seal the win.
“One, two, three kami naman ang naglalaro. Siguro nung fourth quarter, napagod din ‘yung mga bata,” said Macaraya.
Mac Belo had a game-high 22 points while Ed Daquioag added 16 for the Accelerators, who failed to take advantage of the ejection of CafeFrance gunner Samboy De Leon.
De Leon incurred a technical foul and a flagrant foul one in Game Two.
CafeFrance (86) — Cruz 18, Zamar 13, Jeruta 12, Ebondo 11, Abundo 10, De Leon 8, Manlangit 7, Opiso 4, Villahermosa 3, Casino 0, Celso 0.
Phoenix Petroleum (77) — Belo 22, Daquioag 16, Pogoy 10, Tamsi 9, Tolomia 6, Ru. Escoto 5, Inigo 5, Andrada 4, Ri. Escoto 0, Mendoza 0.
Quarters: 20-23; 49-34; 69-51; 86-77.