MANILA, Philippines – Playing with a huge chip on their shoulders, the Breadstory Smashing Bakers turned back the Cafe France Bakers, 79-72, in the first playoffs match of the PBA D-League Thursday afternoon at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
Breadstory had to battle a twice-to-beat disadvantage against Cafe France in the second outing of the Battle of the Bread.
A 22-point lead for Breadstory could not hold back a determined Cafe France as the Bakers went on a 23-3 tear across the third and fourth quarters to cut it to four, 58-54, with Maverick Ahanmisi scoring on a layup off an inbound steal.
Jackson Corpuz, though, would weather the storm with a booming three that found the bottom of the net to cap a 7-0 run, putting the Smashing Bakers up 66-54.
Breadstory head coach Bonnie Tan said no one expected his team to go to the playoffs, and if they did, they would roll over and exit early.
“No one expected us to be in the quarterfinals,” Tan said after his team finished the eliminations with a below .500 mark of 5-6. “People were putting us down and those comments saved us because the players stepped up.”
Staring at a potential early exit in the fourth, Giovani Jalalon stepped it up late sparking an 8-2 sprint to give Breadstory a 78-70 lead with 33.9 remaining.
“Maybe the players don’t want me to leave LPU (Lyceum of the Philippines University),” Tan said as his team is affiliated with the school.
Corpuz led Breadstory with a 21-point 10-rebound performance while Jalalon had 21 points and five assists.
Ahanmisi led Cafe France with 14 points and 10 boards.
BREADSTORY 79- Corpuz 21, Jalalon 21, Gabayni 9, Baltazar 5, Mbomiko 5, Vigil 5, Daquioag 5, Lao 3, Bangga 3, Taladua 2, Zamora 0, Bulawan 0, Gamboa 0.
CAFE FRANCE 72- Ahanmisi 14, Sedurifa 12, Alolino 10, Cruz 8, Noble 6, Batino 6, Andrada 5, Jeruta 4, De Leon 4, Abundo 2, Galanza 1, Cortez 0, Ebondo 0.