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    Gab Banal takes charge as Thunder overcome late Altas rally

    May 14, 2017
    Gab Banal and the Thunder fall behind by double digits early but manage to get by the pesky Altas. Dante Peralta

    FLYING V saw a 10-point lead trimmed to two but recovered to score a 74-66 win over Perpetual Help in a tuneup game on Sunday in the Filoil Flying V Preseason Premier Cup in San Juan.

    Gab Banal spearheaded the attack with 16 points including a split from the foul line that sealed the win for the Thunder, which is preparing for its PBA D-League debut.

    Banal also had 11 rebounds, two assists, and two steals, while Jan Colina, Oda Tampus, and Joven Mendoza each scored 10 points.

    Thunder were able to erect a comfortable 68-58 lead with 3:21 left but the Altas employed a full-court press and got to within two, 68-66, after three-pointers from Genmar Ylagan and Jeff Coronel with 1:52 ticks left.

    But the Las Pinas-based dribblers went ice cold from there while Jeron Teng sparked a 6-0 run for the Thunder to foil the Altas' comeback hopes.

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    Teng was a non-factor until the final stretch where he hit three of the last six free throws for the Thunder. He finished with eight points.

    Despite the victory, Flying V coach Eric Altamirano rued the team's lack of effort on defense.

    "I think today were not in sync in whatever we wanna do," said Altamirano, whose team trailed 25-15 early.

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    "The energy was not there today. Siguro we need to work on that more. The team is a work in progress e, and we need to do a better job defensively. I felt we did not do our job on defense."

    Ylagan finished with 14 points for the Altas, while Flash Sadiwa had 11.

    The scores:

    Flying V 74 — Banal 16, Colina 10, Tampus 10, Mendoza 10, Teng 8,Canada 6, Salamat 5, Austria 5, Torres 2, Webb 2, Thiele 0.

    Perpetual 66 — Ylagan 14, Sadiwa 11, Mangalino 9, Coronel 9, Dagangon 7, Pido 7, Lucente 6, Hao 3, Yuhico 0, Singontiko 0.

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    Quarterscores: 15-25; 42-36; 56-50; 74-66.

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    Gab Banal and the Thunder fall behind by double digits early but manage to get by the pesky Altas. Dante Peralta
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