Wangs keeps playoff bid alive, shakes off Blustar

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Wangs Basketball kept itself in the hunt for a playoff spot in 2017 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup, repulsing Blustar Detergent, 87-78 Thursday at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.

John Tayongtong paced the Couriers with 18 points, five assists, and four rebounds, while Cedrick Labing-isa also chipped in 18 markers, four boards, and three assists.

Allen Enriquez just missed out on a double-double with 14 points and nine rebounds, while Von Tambeling got 12 markers, two boards, and two dimes.

At 3-5, there’s still a puncher’s chance for Wangs to make it to the top six. It needs to win its last game against Jose Rizal University next Tuesday and hope the other teams above lose in the homestretch of the eliminations.

“What happened to us was good because every player coordinated. Our playoff hope is still alive. Every game is really important for us,” said coach Pablo Lucas.

The Couriers pounced on the Dragons early for a 27-14 lead in the first quarter which further ballooned to 20, 65-45, midway in the third quarter.

Blustar kept on fighting, trimming the deficit to five, 81-76, after an alley-oop play from Jason Melano to Mak Long Seng with 2:04 remaining in the fourth, but Labing-isa and Tayongtong sealed the win as they strung six straight markers to put away the game late.

Melano topped the still winless Blustar (0-7) with 22 points and 11 rebounds, while Ong Yong Wei got 14 markers and six boards.

The Scores:

WANGS 87 – Labing-isa 18, Tayongtong 18, Enriquez 14, Tambeling 12, Publico 9, Lasco 7, Regalado 4, Brana 3, Montuano 2, King 0, Salcedo 0.

BLUSTAR 78 – Melano 22, Ong 14, Kwaan 12, Perez 8, Ang 7, Mak 6, Choong 4, Liaw 4, Chin 1, Heng 0.

Quarters: 27-14, 49-38, 71-61, 87-78.

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