Tanduay sent a strong message and crushed Batangas, 111-86, to move to solo third place in the 2017 PBA D-League Foundation Cup Thursday at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
Von Tambeling scattered 28 points, five rebounds, and three steals, while Lester Alvarez added 20 markers, six boards, and six assists as the duo captained the Rhum Masters’ third quarter breakaway.
Paul Varilla also chipped in 18 points, seven rebounds, and three assists, while Jerwin Gaco tallied a double-double of 13 markers and 11 boards in the triumph.
“We know the implications and the impact of this game to the standings. We knew we had to dig deep and we need to step up and I’m glad that we got the job done,” said coach Lawrence Chongson, as Tanduay improved its record to a 5-2 slate.
It took a quarter and a half before the Rhum Masters finally solved the problem that are Batangueños, staging a 14-4 spurt to break a close 37-35 affair to a 51-39 halftime lead.
That continued in the third frame as Tanduay silenced its foe with a killer 24-0 run to grab a commanding 75-39 lead with 5:08 left to play in the period.
Chongson admitted that at this stage, he’s no longer looking at the top two but is hell-bent on claiming the next best thing, which is the third and fourth place which comes with a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals.
“These last remaining games are like the playoffs for us. The standings are neck-and-neck and we cannot afford to lose. So what we can do is to take care of our end,” he said.
Joseph Sedurifa carried Batangas with 24 points and 11 rebounds in the loss, while James Forrester got 14 markers, three boards, and two assists in his swansong for the squad.
The Batangueños’ second consecutive defeat drops them down the standings at 4-3, precariously holding on to the sixth spot.
TANDUAY 111 – Tambeling 28, Alvarez 20, Varilla 18, Gaco 13, Vigil 7, Taganas 6, Sollano 6, Eguilos 4, Palma 4, Terso 2, Martinez 2, Villamor 1, Sanga 0, Santos 0.
BATANGAS 86 – Sedurifa 24, Forrester 14, Ablaza 10, Anderson 9, De Joya 7, Bautista 7, Laude 4, Isit 4, Saitanan 2, Mendoza 2, Mangabang 2, Dela Peña 1, Napoles 0, Ragasa 0.
Quarters: 21-20, 51-39, 86-55, 111-86.