MANILA, Philippines-They were as clean as they can be as the Hapee Fresh Fighters dispatched the Cafe France Bakers, 74-58, in Game One of their best-of-three semifinals series in the PBA D-League Thursday afternoon at the Ynares Sports Arena.
Hapee ensnared Cafe France in the second half as Fresh Fighters stepped on the pedal for an offensive display that left the Bakers scratching their heads.
Playing tight throughout the second half, the Fresh Fighters pulled away in the latter minutes of the second quarter, leading the Bakers, 39-26, going into halftime.
A 12-4 run early in the third period put major distance between the Fresh Fighters and the Bakers as Hapee led by as much as 19, 52-33.
Hapee head coach Ronnie Magsanoc said that the playoffs are a different field and even with his deep roster, he still had to go to his veterans.
“In games these big, I have to go to the veterans,” Magsanoc said.
And the veteran cogs did serve their purpose with Garvo Lanete coming up big with 20 points and five rebounds.
Cafe France managed to cut the lead to single digits with Mon Abundo’s three-pointer finding the bottom of the net with 3:06 left in the fourth.
Lanete, however, immediately answered with a layup on the break and Baser Amer hit a three-pointer as the shot clock wound down to give Hapee a 13-point lead, 55-68.
Magsanoc said that he has to challenge his players as the competition gets tighter in the playoffs.
Ray Ray Parks and Chris Newsome added nine points apiece for Hapee.
Joseph Sedurifa and Rodrigue Ebondo had 11 points each to lead Cafe France. Bong Lozada, INQUIRER.net