Bakers beat Rhum Masters take 1-0 semis lead

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Cafe France got back at Tanduay, 65-58, to take a 1-0 headstart in their 2016 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup semifinals series Tuesday at San Juan Arena.

Rod Ebondo wreaked havoc anew with 14 points and 25 rebounds while Joseph Manlangit and Carl Bryan Cruz added 11 and 10 points, respectively for the top-seeded Bakers.

“We were able to get back at them and it’s a good motivation,” said Cafe France head coach Egay Macaraya, reflecting on the Bakers’ 79-74 defeat against Tanduay.

Cafe France held Tanduay scoreless in a five-minute stretch in the fourth quarter to break a 51-deadlock and take a 60-51 lead with 2:33 left.

“It’s very hard to stop a very good offensive team, but I guess the boys played very good defense and hopefully, we take it to the second game,” said Macaraya.

Pari Llagas and Von Pessumal led the Rhum Masters with 13 points apiece. JP Belencion got 11 points, but he went on a woeful 3-of-11 shooting from threes.

Game 2 is slated next Tuesday at the same venue.

The scores:

CAFE FRANCE 65 – Ebondo 14, Manlangit 11, Cruz 10, Abundo 9, Villahermosa 9, De Leon 6, Jeruta 6, Arim 0, Casino 0, Celso 0, Opiso 0, Zamar 0.

TANDUAY 58 – Llagas 13, Pessumal 13, Belencion 11, Javillonar 6, Celda 4, Eriobu 3, Lingganay 3, Santos 3, Wetherell 2, Acuna 0, Tagarda 0.

Quarters: 18-16, 32-28, 49-44, 65-58.

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