BINAN—Mac Belo took charge in the second half and carried Phoenix past Tanduay, 84-76, in Game 1 of the 2016 PBA D-League Foundation Cup Finals Thursday at Alonte Sports Arena here.
The Gilas mainstay flexed his muscle and unloaded 27 of his 30 points in the final two quarters, on top of 14 rebounds and three assists to help the Accelerators grab a 1-0 series lead.
“He refused to give up,” said coach Eric Gonzales of Belo.
“Ang pep talk namin kanina is it depends kung sino ang uhaw. Sabi kasi ni coach Lawrence (Chongson), mas uhaw ang Tanduay. I challenged yung mga bata to show it on the court.”
Belo ignited a 10-0 Phoenix run to turn a 67-66 deficit midway in the fourth to a 76-67 lead with 3:17 left to play.
Roger Pogoy added 22 markers, six boards, and three assists, while Mike Tolomia got 12 points, six dimes, and three rebounds.
Phoenix can close the series out with a win on Tuesday at Strike Gym in Bacoor, Cavite.
Reden Celda topped the Rhum Masters with 15 points, four rebounds, and three assists, while Rudy Lingganay
chimed in 13 markers, four dimes, and three boards in the loss.
PHOENIX 84 – Belo 30, Pogoy 22, Tolomia 12, Daquioag 7, Mendoza 7, Andrada 2, Colina 2, Escoto 2, Batino 0, Inigo 0, Jamito 0, Tamsi 0.
TANDUAY 76 – Celda 15, Lingganay 14, Eguilos 10, Ferrer 10, Mendoza 10, Alolino 6, Santos 4, Belencion 3, Tagarda 3, Acuna 2, Javillonar 0.
Quarters: 21-22, 40-40, 58-57, 84-76.