JUMBO Plastic was business as usual in its quarterfinal encounter with Foton to score an easy 71-62 win and become the first team to make the semifinals of the PCBL Founders Cup Thursday night at the JCSGO gym.
James Martinez finished with 18 points and played the fireman’s role for the Linoleum Giants, who weathered a late rally by the Toplander and formalize their march to the Final Four of the tournament supported by Accel, Ambucore, Spalding, and Aquabest.
Martinez hit a triple and a floater down the stretch to keep the rallying Toplander at bay.
“As usual and dapat naman since isa siya sa veterans ng team,” Jumbo Plastic coach Stephenson Tiu said of the former PBA player. “Sila dapat mga veterans ang mag-carry ng team and expected ko yan.”
A former University of the East stalwart, who had a brief stint playing for the Powerade Tigers in the pro league, Martinez went 3-for-4 frorm beyond the arc and shot a steady 7-of-12 from the field.
Jumbo Plastic’s win was nearly overshadowed by Cagayan Valley’s 82-67 triumph over Sta. Lucia, setting up a winner-take-all encounter between the two teams for a semifinals berth.
Mark Brana scored 15 of his 22 points in the fourth period, although it was the Rising Suns’ defense on Realtors’ top gunner Mark Montilla which made the difference. Montilla was held down to just four points in the second half and ended the game with a quiet 11-point output.
“Our game plan against Montilla worked on,” said Cagayan Valley coach Ronnie Dojillo. “That was really our plan. We want to deny Montilla clear access to the basket and our defensive game plan worked well against Sta. Lucia.”
The winner of the Sta. Lucia-Cagayan knockout game will face Jumbo Plastic in a best-of-three series next week.
Cagayan Valley (82) – Brana 22, Bangga 19, Arce 12, Siruma 9, Flores 6, Acidre 4, Caranguian 4, Macasling 3, Managuelad 3, Salcede 0, Isit 0.
Sta. Lucia (67) – Escosio 13, Celiz 12, Salado 12, Montilla 11, Vidal 7, Castanerez 3, Camasura 3, Gabriel 2, Onwubere 2, Wetherell 2, Ablaza 0, Ilagan 0, Bautista 0, Sarangay 0.
Quarterscores: 15-21; 38-30; 56-51; 82-67
Jumbo Plastic (71) – Martinez 18, Euigilos 10, J. Lopez 8, Taganas 8, Viernes 6, Padilla 6, Tayongtong 6, Lopez 5, Arellano 4, Mandani 0, Acosta 0, Perez 0.
Foton (62) – Hernandez 19, Rivera 13, Reyes 8, Mangahas 7, Baraga 5, Penaflor 3, Gomez 3, Rosaroso 2, Nacpil 2, Enriquez 0.
Quarterscores: 19-12; 41-28; 54-41; 71-62.