Rey Nambatac and Jackson Corpuz showed the way and Racal refused to sink with a 100-90 beatdown of Cignal-San Beda Monday at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan to force a winner-take-all Game 3 in the 2017 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup Finals.
Nambatac poured in 24 points, four rebounds, three steals, and two assists, while Copruz dominated down low with a double-double of 20 markers and 11 boards to lead the Tile Masters.
With its back against the wall, Racal showed the sense of urgency coach Jerry Codiñera wanted from his crew as it seeks to make the most of its first Finals appearance.
“We had a good start and identified their big three — Jason Perkins, Robert Bolick, and Javee Mocon —whom we all tried to limit. It’s a big thing for us that the three played below average today,” he said.
Kent Salado had 15 points, while Joseph Gabayni got nine markers and 10 rebounds, as the rest of the Tile Masters joined in the fight and unfurled 50 bench points.
Racal established control early and raced to a 19-point edge, 57-38, in the second quarter behind Nambatac and Corpuz.
The duo of Perkins and Bolick waged a huge rally in the third canto as Cignal got to within five, 67-62, before Corpuz fired 12 in the frame to push it back to a 10-point game.
“You have to be ready whenever they go on a surge. We have to arrest that and today, we did,” said Codinera.
Game 3 is on Thursday at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
Bolick, who was named the MVP of the conference earlier, topped Cignal with 18 points, 10 rebounds, and five assists, while Pamboy Raymundo tallied 17 on 3-of-8 shooting from threes in the defeat.
RACAL 100 – Nambatac 24, Corpuz 20, Salado 15, Gabayni 9, Torres 8, Capacio 5, Dagangon 5, Flores 4, Onwubere 4, Cabrera 3, Mangahas 3, Gabawan 0, Gumaru 0, Terso 0.
CIGNAL 90 – Bolick 18, Raymundo 17, Perkins 13, Potts 11, Bringas 8, Mocon 7, Villarias 7, Adamos 3, Arboleda 3, Oftana 3, Arong 0, Batino 0, Cahilig 0.
Quarters: 26-22, 57-42, 81-71, 100-90.