Cebuana Lhuillier recovered from a poor start and came away with an 89-70 victory against newcomer Racal Motors on Monday at the start of the PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup at the Ynares Arena.
Bradwyn Guinto came off the bench to score a game-high 18 points and grabbed seven rebounds for the Gems, who used a 21-7 run halfway through the second quarter to seize the lead for good after a poor start.
“We’re just trying to improve from our performance last season. We hope to improve every practice, every possession, every game,” said Cebuana coach Boysie Zamar afterwards.
Paul Zamar and Allan Mangahas keyed the Gems’ comeback with back-to-back threes. The Gems trailed 26-23 before the duo made those deciding baskets that shove Cebuana Lhuillier ahead, 44-33, at halftime. They never trailed after that.
Allan Mangahas and Paul Zamar had 13 apiece while Almond Vosstros added 11 and six assists.
The Gems played without shooting forward Kevin Ferrer, out with a wrist injury, and 6-7 Norberto Torres, who remains on hold pending the completion the required documents concerning his citizenship.
Marte Gil scored 15 points and Kevin Ortuoste had 12 for the Alibaba, who led 20-16 in the first quarter but lost momentum due to poor shooting in the second quarter. Racal Motors shot 24 of 75 from the field.
89 – Guinto 18, Mangahas 13, Zamar 13, Vosotros 11, Vilahermosa 10, Sison 8, Acibar 4, Ciriacruz 4, J. Mangahas 3, enciso 2, Arellano 2, Sarangay 1.
Racal Motors 70 – Gil 15, Ortuoste 12, Viernes 11, Asuncion 11, Gabawan 8, Jamito 5, Saitanan 3, Ruaya 3, Ibay 2, Ibarra 0, Redoh 0.
Quarters: 16-21; 44-33; 64-49; 89-70