ROGER Pogoy buried a three-point basket with 2.3 seconds left in the fourth as Phoenix Petroleum-Far Eastern University stole Game Three from CafeFrance, 85-84, on Thursday for a 2-1 series lead in the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup finals at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
The Accelerators appeared on the verge of defeat with Mike Tolomia and Ed Daquioag getting blocked by Rodrigue Ebondo. But Pogoy was able to corral the loose ball then hit triple from about 27 feet, sending the pro-Phoenix gallery into a roar.
Mon Abundo’s last-second heave was not even close for CafeFrance as Phoenix captured the victory by closing the game out with a 14-2 finishing kick.
The Accelerators will look to clinch the title in Game Four on Tuesday at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
“I give God glory. Wala na ako doon,” said Phoenix coach Eric Gonzales. “Thankful ako sa player na hind sila bumitaw.”
“The play went broken. Kita niyo naman, dinrive ni Ed, butata. Blessing ni God ’yun,” he added.
Game Two hero Carl Bryan Cruz failed to deliver in the endgame this time, missing two free throws that would have given the Bakers a four-point lead before Pogoy’s heroics.
CafeFrance lost control after erecting a 12-point in the third period, 58-46, and was still up, 80-71, before that last run by Phoenix-FEU.
Mac Belo had 22 points and seven rebounds, while Daquioag finished with 20 points for the Accelerators. Achie Inigo added 15 while Pogoy chipped in 10 markers, his game-winner the only made shot from the arc after missing his first six attempts.
CafeFrance's loss spoiled the efforts of Ebondo, who had a double-double of 18 points and 18 rebounds.
Phoenix-FEU 85 - Belo 22, Daquioag 20, Inigo 15, Pogoy 10, Tolomia 8, Andrada 5, Ri. Escoto 5, Ru. Escoto 0, Mendoza 0, Tamsi 0.
CafeFrance 84 - Ebondo 18, Zamar 12, De Leon 11, Villahermosa 10, Cruz 9, Casino 7, Jeruta 6, Manlangit 5, Celso 4, Abundo 2, Opiso 0.
Quarterscores: 18-17; 35-37; 61-68; 85-84.