With nothing to lose, Batangas came out firing and stunned Cafe France, 91-69, to end its 2017 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup on a good note Monday at JCSGO Gym in Cubao.
Dan Sara led the upset, orchestrating the Batangas’ battleplan as he dropped all of his 16 points in the first half to go along with three rebounds and two assists.
Joseph Sedurifa also caught fire in the endgame, burying 11 of his 16 markers in the fourth period as the Batanguenos formalized the upset late. He also had 11 boards and six assists.
“We definitely got something from this and we did what we’re talking about all conference long, that we need to keep on improving,” said Batangas coach Eric Gonzales.
Cedrick Ablaza added 13 points and five rebounds, while Joey Lascano had 12 markers and six boards.
Batangas ended its inaugural stint in the developmental league winning three of its last four outings and finished with a 4-5 card.
Motivated to finish the conference strong, Batangas caught a sluggish Cafe France crew sleeping, jumping to a 52-32 halftime lead before extending it to 25, 72-47, in the third quarter.
Michael Calisaan still tried to bring the Bakers back in the game and sliced the deficit to just 13, 76-63, with 5:41 left in the fourth frame, but Sedurifa provided the finishing kick in the final quarter to seal the deal for Batangas.
The loss sent Cafe France to its second straight defeat. The Bakers, though, will still go to the playoffs as the third-seed with their 5-4 record, enjoying a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals.
Calisaan paced the Bakers with 14 points and eight rebounds, while Oliver Arim had 13 markers and three boards in the no-bearing game.
BATANGAS 91 – Sara 16, Sedurifa 16, Ablaza 13, Lascano 12, Saitanan 11, Mendoza 10, Dela Pena 5, Mangabang 4, Isit 2, Laude 2, De Joya 0, Delfinado 0, Inciong 0, Revadavia 0.
CAFE FRANCE 69 – Calisaan 14, Arim 13, Aquino 8, Faundo 7, Manlangit 6, Veron 5, Casino 4, Desiderio 4, Guinitaran 4, Wamar 4, Ebondo 0, Mercado 0.
Quarters: 25-18, 52-32, 74-55, 91-69.