TANDUAY survived a scare by BDO-National University on Thursday to hack out an 83-81 victory and sustain their resurgence in the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup on Thursday.
Tanduay saw a huge 29-point lead almost disintegrate, before holding on down the stretch to pull off an escape act for their fifth straight win against two losses.
The Bulldogs’ comeback went for naught as they suffered a third straight setback and fifth overall in six outings.
“Matagal pa ang Halloween ah, pero April Fools’ malapit na pala,” Rhum Masters coach Lawrence Chongson said in jest after the game.
“We’ll take it, although ang sama ng second half namin,” he added as his team solidified its hold of fourth spot that entail a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals. “I warned them about being complacent.”
Val Acuña paced the Rhum Masters’ early surge with eight of his 14 points in the second quarter, where they built a seemingly insurmountable 57-28 cushion.
But the Bulldogs fought back behind Mohammed Salim and J-Jay Alejandro, who conspired in the payoff period where they managed to pull within a basket and even have a chance to win.
Alfred Aroga nudged the Bulldogs to within 83-81 after he split his charities and his team forced the Rhum Maters to commit a turnover on the other end after employing a full-court press.
Alejandro, though, dished out a bad pass in their next play, although he stole the ball right after and made a pass to Matt Salem, who, however, missed a potential game-winning three-pointer at the buzzer.
TANDUAY 83 – Acuna 14, Celda 11, Belencion 10, Lingganay 10, Wetherell 9, Llagas 8, Gotladera 6, Javillonar 6, Pessumal 5, Santos 4, Tagarda 0
BDO-NU 81 – Alejandro 19, Aroga 18, Salim 16, Perez 7, Yu 7, Diputado 4, Javelona 4, Salem 4, Labing-isa 2, Rono 0, Tansingco
Quarterscores: 30-15, 59-32, 68-58, 83-81