Gamboa Coffee Mix-St. Clare College came alive in the endgame to pull off a comeback 78-73 win over University of Perpetual Help System Dalta and regain its winning form in the Philippine Basketball Association Developmental League Aspirants’ Cup 2018 on Monday at the JCSGO Gym in Quezon City.
The Coffee Lovers raced to a crucial run down the stretch as they carve their way back from as much as 12 points down.
“We never gave up. They were up by 10 or 12 points. But the game ended with us leading,” said Gamboa-St. Clare head coach Jinino Manansala, whose squad cruised to its third win against two defeats.
Manansala’s men also notched a bounce-back victory after their 85-92 loss against league-leader Akari-Adamson University.
Aris Dionisio fired a game-high 21 points, pouring 11 of those in the pivotal fourth quarter, and hauled down eight rebounds while Malian big man Mohammed Pare pumped in a double-double of 16 markers and 10 boards for the Coffee Lovers.
Trevis Jackson, who struggled to find his shooting groove, still managed to chip in 11 points and captain Chris Bitoon added 10 markers.
Rey Anthony Peralta finished with a team-best 17 points while John Rey Villanueva scored 13 markers for the Altas, who suffered their third loss against two wins.
Edgar Charcos contributed 12 points while Nigerian center Prince Eze’s double-double of 11 markers and 15 boards in the loss.
Perpetual Help zoomed to a fiery start anchored on Villanueva’s hot-shooting in the opening quarter for an early 21-10 lead.
Frankie Lim’s wards sustained its dominance and even posted its biggest advantage at 61-49 early in the final frame.
With Dionisio leading the charge, Gamboa uncorked a 17-4 blast to snatch the lead, 66-65, at the 4:58 mark.
The Coffee Lovers stretched it to a 29-10 rally capped by Dionisio’s two made free throws for a comfortable 78-71 cushion with 54 seconds left, practically securing the win.