Wangs Basketball showed its character late and pulled off the thrilling 88-87 come-from-behind victory over Centro Escolar University Tuesday in the 2017 PBA D-League Foundation Cup at JCSGO Gym in Cubao.
Down 10, 72-62, the Couriers pounced on the Scorpions in the final 2:41 of the game and went on a 16-5 finishing kick, capped off by a pair of free throws from Jason Riley to shove Wangs up, 88-87, with 22.9 ticks remaining.
Rod Ebondo and Mark Cruz had a pair of chances to help CEU recover down the stretch, but they muffed both of their chances late as the Scorpions suffered the humiliating meltdown in their conference-opener.
“The boys are just thirsty for a win. They followed our gameplan and it was really our defense which made the difference,” said a triumphant coach Pablo Lucas.
Michael Juico unloaded 12 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter, on top of eight rebounds, and two assists, while Tim Habelito got a near double-double of 12 markers and nine boards.
Christian De Chavez also chimed in 11 for Wangs.
CEU squandered its 15-point lead, 48-33, in the third quarter and spoiled Ebondo’s dominant showing, where he tallied 27 points, 20 rebounds, and four blocks.
JK Casiño also added 17 markers and four assists in the losing effort for the Scorpions.
WANGS 88 – Juico 26, Habelito 12, De Chavez 11, Amboludto 8, Asuncion 7, Riley 5, Herndon 4, Montemayor 4, Sorela 4, King 3, Arambulo 2, Importante 2.
CEU 87 – Ebondo 27, Casiño 17, Cruz 12, Uri 8, Manlangit 7, Aquino 6, Intic 4, Wamar 4, Arim 2, Baconcon 0, Guinitaran 0, Jeruta 0, Saber 0.
Quarters: 12-14, 33-42, 57-60, 88-87.