Tanduay squanders huge lead but holds on to beat Racal and force rubber match for spot in finals
Jackson Corpuz finds no room to maneuver against Jaypee Belencion and Lucas Tagarda. PBA D-League Images

BACOOR, Cavite — Tanduay lives to fight another day after dousing a late-game rally by Racal to hammer out an 88-86 win in the PBA D-League Foundation Cup semifinals on Thursday at the Strike Gym. 

Gelo Alolino played the hero role for the Rhum Masters, who forced a do-or-die match on Tuesday at the same venue. 

Alolino had 26 points including the game-sealing layup in the waning seconds. 

The former NU Bulldog hit four three-pointers, one of which he made in the opening stretch of the third quarter where the Rhum Masters built a 23-point lead, 68-45. 

Alolino also got plenty of help from Kevin Ferrer and Reden Celda, especially in the homestretch. 

Celda added 15 points and provided the spark in the final minutes. 

Ferrer, on the other hand, groped for form and shot a horrendous 2-of-11 from the three-point area but still finished with 13 markers. 

"Yun ang target namin e, to tie it up. This allowed us to live another day. Now we go back to the drawing board for Tuesday," said head coach Lawrence Chongson. 

When the Rhum Masters thought they were in cruise control with a sizeable advantage, the Tile Masters sparked an 8-0 run late in the third quarter cut the lead to nine heading into the payoff period, 72-63. 

They didn't stop there. Racal regained the upperhand in the final three minutes and turned the catch-up game into a heart-pounding, nip-and-tuck contest. 

That's when Alolino took over, scoring on a layup that put Tanduay on top. Jonathan Grey tried to turn things around but his three-pointer rimmed out. 

Grey paced Racal with 21 points. 

 

The scores: 

Tanduay 88 - Alolino 26, Celda 15, Ferrer 13, Mendoza 10, Eguilos 8, Belencion 6, Acuna 4, javillonar 4, Santos 2, Gotladera 0, Javelona 0, Lingganay 0, Stevens 0, Tagarda 0. 

Racal 86  - Grey 21, Banal 12, Ortuoste 11, paniamogan 9, Celiz 8, Cabrera 5, Corpuz 5, Maiquez 5, Robles 4, Terso 4, Gabawan 2, Ambulodto 0, Javier 0, Neypes 0. 

Quarterscores: 22-22; 55-43; 72-63; 88-86.

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