MANILA, Philippines—Taking things to one more bout, the Cebuana Lhuillier Gems shone with great luster dismantling the Jumbo Plastic Linoleum Giants, 63-53, to force a rubber match in the PBA D-League quarterfinals at the Ynares Sports Arena Thursday evening.
Cebuana had to fight their way through a twice-to-beat disadvantage and, true enough, took the first game in the end game, outscoring the Giants 19-9.
With only two possessions separating them, 57-53, the Gems found their carats and sealed the game off with six unanswered points as Paul Zamar knocked down a three-pointer off a pick with 2:52 remaining and Allan Mangahas floating one in from the baseline with 47.4 for the final score.
Gems head coach Boysie Zamar said he and his coaches challenged the players to prove that they can win against the top tier teams.
“We challenged the players. Every time we play against other teams, they dominate, but when we go up against the stronger ones we fall back,” Zamar said pointing out Hapee, Cagayan and Jumbo as the ones to beat. “They have to prove to us that they can play as a team.”
Tied at 44 apiece at the end of the third, the Gems went on a 13-4 run with Mangahas capping it off with a stop-and-pop jumper in transition to put it at 57-48.
Zamar led Cebuana with 18 points and six boards while Mangahas put up 12 points and eight rebounds.
Philip Paniamogan had 14 points for the Giants while late addition Glenn Khobuntin had 12.
CEBUANA 63- Zamar 18, A. Mangahas 12, Enciso 10, Ferrer 8, Torres 6, Bautista 3, Villahermosa 2, Guinto 2, Lopez 2, Vosotros 0, Acibar 0.
JUMBO 53- Paniamogan 14, Khobuntin 12, Rios 8, Sabelina 6, Tiongson 4, Cruz 3, Eguilos 3, Colina 2, Javier 1, Rosales 0, Terso 0, Maiquez 0, Villamor 0.