Viernes loss throws off plans, but Revellers cope to close in on crown

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Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.net

Che’Lu Bar and Grill-San Sebastian coach Stevenson Tiu truly thought that he will have Jeff Viernes on his team for the 2018 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup Finals.

That was until the super scorer was called up by GlobalPort.

“What we understood was they will let the championship end first before they let him play. But after we made it, GlobalPort decided to take him and we had to follow the proper protocol. We were just surprised,” he said.

The Revellers weren’t only losing their top scorer in Viernes, who averaged 18.3 points, they are also losing their leader which spearheaded them to the championship round.

Tiu admitted that the news was a big blow for Che’Lu-San Sebastian, but that just opened the opportunity for the others to step up.

And step up, they did.

Samboy de Leon anchored the offense with his 4-of-5 three-point shooting to notch 18 points, Alfred Batino got 17 points, and Michael Calisaan had 15 as the Revellers took Game 1, 107-103 on Tuesday.

“We had a hard time to cope up with their transition offense, but when we settled down, we were able to get the win,” said Tiu.

With Game 1 in the bag, the seasoned bench tactician expounded on the importance of finishing the job off for Game 2 on Thursday.

“We need to already get this because Zark’s is a tough team. So we have to prepare again and see what adjustments we can make,” said Tiu.

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