CAGAYAN Valley averted a late collapse, edging Hog’s Breath Café, 79-68, on Monday to snap a three-game skid in the PBA D-League Foundation Cup at the JCSGO gym in Quezon City.
Ping Exciminiano scored a game-high 22 points for the Rising Suns and contributed five steals, several of which came in the crucial stretch of the fourth that stopped a furious comeback by the Razorbacks.
The Rising Suns went scoreless in a stretch where the Razorbacks scored seven straight points to close in, 64-68.
But Exciminiano converted a three-pointer to end the scoreless drought, while a steal led to a Mark Bringas three-point play for a 74-66 Cagayan Valley lead.
Cagayan Valley, which led 63-47 entering the fourth, improved to a win-loss 4-4 slate.
“Wala kasi kaming legitimate center, tapos yung ibang mga player namin na gusto na mag-pro, nawawala na yung team effort,” said Cagayan Valley team consultant Turo Valenzona, who handled the team for the meantime while head coach Alvin Pua is busy campaigning for his father-in-law and incumbent Cagayan governor Alvaro Antonio.
“Nagtutulong tulong nalang kami,” said Valenzona, who last coached in the big league when he was the interim coach of San Sebastian in 2011.
Michael Lima had 13 of his 15 points in the fourth as he sparked a Razorbacks comeback. A jumper by Chris Cayabyab made it 64-68 before Cagayan Valley’s game-clinching run.
Adrian Celada had 15 points while Jammer Jamito added 10 points and eight boards for the Rising Suns, who are now tied for seventh with Cebuana Lhuillier in the team standings.
Hog’s Breath slipped to 1-7.
Cagayan Valley (79) – Exciminiano 22, Celada 15, Jamito 10, Bringas 9, Lao 7, Canta 4, Melano 4, Cruz 3, Matute 3, Montemayor 2, Webb 0, Poligrates 0.
Hog’s Breath Café (68) – Lima 12, Belorio 12, Morillo 8, Robles 6, Malinao 6, Macasaet 6, Alguno 5, Roy 5, Cayabyab 4, Eman 1, Armecin 0, Rabalo 0, Pacquiao 0.
Quarterscores: 25-13; 44-35; 63-47; 79-68.