RODRIGUE Ebondo had 16 points and 13 rebounds to lift Café France past Jumbo Plastic, 66-61, and into a share of the lead in the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup on Thursday at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
The double-double effort of the Congolese cager from Centro Escolar University helped the Bakers score their third victory in as many games and join Hapee in the lead.
“I guess they are already jelling especially on defense,” said Café France coach Egay Macaraya. “They are putting hard work on defense. It all starts with good defense and I’m sure, magiging maganda ang opensa natin.”
Macaraya, however, rued the team’s inability to close out games after a 12-point third quarter lead was trimmed to just 65-61. Fortunately for the Bakers, the Giants couldn’t complete a comeback try.
“We have to learn to be composed kasi lagi kaming nahahabol,” said Macaraya.
Ebondo had 10 points in the second half where the Bakers gained control of the game. They led, 56-44, in the third quarter.
Joseph Sedurifa had 12 points while Bong Galanza added 11 for the Bakers.
Jumbo Plastic Linoleum lost for the first time this conference for a 2-1 win-loss card.
Café France (66)—Ebondo 16, Sedurifa 12, Galanza 11, Jeruta 8, Abundo 6, Cortez 4, Huertas 3, Ahanmisi 3, Habelito 2, Andrada 1, De Leon 0, Noble 0, Batino 0.
Jumbo Plastic (61) – Eguilos 11, Sabellina 8, Magat 8, Lozada 8, Cruz 7, Heruela 7, Rios 3, King 3, Rosales 2, Maiquez 2, Villamor 2, Terso 0, Petilos 0, Javier 0.
Quarterscores: 13-16; 32-36; 53-44; 66-61.