Tanduay evaded a huge upset when it turned back Blustar Detergent, 105-102 in overtime Tuesday in the 2016 PBA D-League Foundation Cup at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
“Siguro tumatagal na rin sila dito and kita naman sa last few games, dumidikit na rin yung mga resulta nila,” said coach Lawrence Chongson. “Iba pa rin yung nakaka-adapt na rin sila.”
Gelo Alolino starred in the thriller with 25 points, six assists, and four rebounds, while JP Belencion added 20 markers and four rebounds for the Rhum Masters.
The win also pulled Tanduay to joint third, tied with Racal at 4-2.
The game was anything but the two’s first duel last June 13, where Tanduay easily routed Blustar, 94-71 in the latter’s D-League debut.
Alolino seemed poised to put the game away, draining two pressure-packed free throws to put his team up, 90-87 with 3.9 seconds remaining.
But Tiongson caught a pass from Choo Wei Hong on the other end as his runner three found the bottom of the net as the time expired in regulation.
With the game tied anew, Alolino once again struck, completing an and-one play to give Tanduay a 98-95 lead with 1:41 remaining. Jovet Mendoza would also score on a putback and Louie Vigil canned a pair of freebies to give the Rhum Masters a 102-95 lead in the final minute, but the Dragons refused to go down, as Tiongson nailed a three to inch the Malaysians closer, 102-100, with 23.4 seconds left.
Jeff Javillonar split his free throws, but was able to block Wong Yi Hou’s potential game-tying three to seal the deal for Tanduay.
“Sana yung mga ganitong klaseng games, makapulot kami ng mga aral,” said Chongson.
Ivan Yeo anchored Blustar (1-6) with 27 points, seven of which coming in the overtime period, alongside 22 rebounds, while Tiongson had 18 markers, six assists, and five boards in the tough loss.
TANDUAY 105 – Alolino 25, Belencion 20, Javillonar 9, Santos 8, Tagarda 8, Vigil 8, Celda 7, Lingganay 7, Acibar 4, Acuna 3, Enguio 2, Gotladera 2, Mendoza 2.
BLUSTAR 102 – Yeo 27, Tiongson 18, Kuek 16, Choo 12, Ma 12, Wong 11, Ong 4, Liaw 2, Palma 0, Ting 0.
Quarters: 17-19, 44-41, 70-69, 90-90, 105-102