Rey Publico carried Wangs Basketball-Letran down the stretch to the 88-83 victory over Perpetual Thursday in the 2018 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
The veteran big man drilled the crucial six points for the Couriers as they fended off the Altas belated rally.
Publico got 17 points and five rebounds, while Bong Quinto added 14 markers, eight boards, and seven assists as Wangs-Letran netted back-to-back wins to rise to 4-2.
JP Calvo chipped in 12 points, six rebounds, and six dimes, while Jerrick Balanza and Christian Fajarito both had 10.
“A win is a win. But we still played bad, especially on defense. Luckily, we were aggressive in the second half and we were able to recover,” said coach Jeff Napa.
The Couriers were holding on to a precarious 78-77 lead in the last 4:42 when Publico strung six straight points to give his side an 84-81 lead with 54 seconds remaining.
Prince Eze cut that lead back to one, 84-83, but Bonbon Batiller scored on the layup before Quinto put on the finishing touches from the foul line.
Edgar Charcos led Perpetual (2-4) with 29 points, seven rebounds, and six assists, while Eze had 26 markers, 12 boards, and five blocks.
WANGS BASKETBALL-LETRAN 88 — Publico 17, Quinto 14, Calvo 12, Balanza 10, Fajarito 10, Batiller 8, Mandreza 6, Ambohot 4, Yu 3, Balagasay 2, Trinidad 2, Taladua 0.
PERPETUAL 83 — Charcos 29, Eze 26, Coronel 8, Peralta 8, Villanueva 6, Aurin 2, Mangalino 2, Tiburcio 2, Pido 0, Tamayo 0.
Quarters: 25-10, 40-38, 65-62, 88-83.