Racal squeaked past Tanduay, 84-80, and preserved its unbeaten record in the 2017 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup Tuesday at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
It was the bench mob that did the damage for the Tile Masters with Rey Nambatac going for 16 points and six rebounds, Allan Mangahas chipping in 16 markers and six boards, and Kent Salado firing 15 points and two rebounds.
The three combined for 16 of Racal’s 23 fourth quarter points as it fought back from a six-point deficit early in the fourth, 71-65, with a 17-6 run to take an 82-78 lead after a pair of Jamil Gabawan freebies with 1:20 left in the game.
The Rhum Masters still had numerous chances to fight back, but Paul Sanga, Mark Cruz, and Raphy Reyes all flubbed their chances before Salado finally shut the door with his free throws with 13.7 seconds remaining.
“We weren’t able to stop Sanga, but I told them to play our game and trust their teammates. Don’t panic,” said Racal coach Jerry Codinera.
Sidney Onwubere scored 13 markers for the Tile Masters, who upped their mark to 5-0.
Racal survived the hot shooting of Sanga, who buried seven 3-pointers to top Tanduay with 25 points and three rebounds.
Bong Quinto had 21 markers, two boards, and two assists as the Rhum Masters saw their three-game winning run snapped and fell to 3-2.
RACAL 84 – Mangahas 16, Nambatac 16, Salado 15, Onwubere 13, Gabawan 6, Corpuz 5, Flores 5, Gumaru 3, Gabayni 2, Terso 2, Apreku 1, Cabrera 0, Dagangon 0, Torres 0.
TANDUAY 80 – Sanga 25, Quinto 21, Sollano 12, Cruz 7, Santos 6, Palma 5, Cenal 2, Reyes 2, Eguilos 0, Ibay 0, Varilla 0.
Quarters: 21-25, 41-36, 61-64, 84-80.