MICHAEL Juico paced Wangs Basketball’s second half comeback, scoring a game-high 26 points as the Couriers defeated Arellano-Air21, 71-68, on Tuesday in the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup at the Blue Eagle Gym.
Juico had 10 points in the third quarter before Macky Acosta and Jonathan Banal combined for 12 including crucial baskets in the final period as the Couriers came back from a 12-point halftime deficit by outscoring the Chiefs, 40-25 in the second half.
Wangs improved its win-loss record to 4-5 and got a boost in morale going into their match-up against league-leading Big Chill on Thursday.
“We want to win this game para mataas ang kumpiyansa namin going into our game against Big Chill,” said Wangs Basketball coach Pablo Lucas.
A victory looked far-fetched for Wangs as Rocky Acidre piled 15 points in the first half to give the Chiefs a 43-31 lead.
But the Couriers slowly chopped the deficit with Juico leading the way to trail by only five points, 53-58, entering the fourth. Banal gave Wangs the lead on back-to-back baskets, 66-63.
Wangs Basketball (71) – Juico 26, Acosta 11, Galliguez 8, Saitanan 8, Banal 8, Gomez 5, Franco 3, Vijandre 1, Lopez 1, Sanchez 0, Castro 0, Macuha 0.
Arellano-Air21 (68)—Acidre 21, Tayongtong 10, Palma 7, Jalalon 7, Nuilan 7, Bartolo 5, Webb 4, Fran 3, Arquero 2, Ciriacruz 2, Yaya 0, Bangga 0.
Quarterscores: 18-18; 31-43; 53-58; 71-68.