MANILA, Philippines – They were the big guys of the league and they delivered mightily.
Looking at a potential overtime, Abel Galliguez took it upon himself and launched a three-pointer from the right wing to give the Cagayan Rising Suns an 80-77 victory over the Hapee Fresh Fighters in their PBA D-League matchup at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig Thursday evening.
Galliguez looked on as his long bomb found the bottom of the net with one second remaining.
Garvo Lanete tried to send the game to extra time but his three-pointer attempt off the inbound clanked off the side of the rim.
“The shot was good, it was a tied game and I will take the last shot,” Galliguez said.
Cagayan rallied back from almost the entire game, falling behind by as much as 16, 31-15, in the hotly-contested game.
Down six with minutes left in the fourth, the Rising Suns went on a 16-2 tear to go up 77-69, with Moala Tautuaa giving them the lead, 71-69, with a streaking layup on the break.
Hapee, however, would not give up without a fight as they rallied to an 8-0 spurt to tie the game at 77-77 with Troy Rosario providing the deadlock from the free-throw line.
“We fought back as a team, and it felt good,” Tautuaa said who played with two of his parents watching from the sidelines. “Tonight was the first time that I felt the hits, truly felt the hits.”
Cagayan have now won 10 games out of 10 and they snapped Hapee’s streak at 10.
Cagayan head coach Alvin Pua said all the credit goes to the players who left it all on the floor.
Tautuaa was on his typical dominating self with 24 points, nine rebounds and three boards while Cagayan’s hero, Galliguez, had 16 points.
Rayray Parks led Hapee with 17 points and six boards.