Rey Publico and Bonbon Batiller shone in the endgame as Wangs Basketball-Colegio de San Juan de Letran survived University of Perpetual Help System DALTA, 88-83, to estabish a new winning streak in the Philippine Basketball Association Developmental League (PBA D-League) Aspirants’ Cup 2018 on Thursday at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
Publico scored six of the Couriers’ last 10 points and Batiller sank a crucial layup as they raced to their second straight win for a 4-2 win-loss record.
The victory pushed them to a joint second with Akari-Adamson University and Marinerong Pilipino.
“A win is a win. But we still play badly especially on defense,” said Wangs-Letran head coach Jeff Napa, whose men squandered an early 15-point lead.
“Fortunately, in the second half, we played aggressively. That’s why we found our way back into the game,” he added.
Letran alumnus Publico paced the Couriers with 17 points on top of five rebounds while Bong Quinto posted 14 markers and eight boards.
JP Calvo chipped in 12 points while Jeric Balanza and Christian Fajarito added 10 markers apiece in the win.
Edgar Charcos’ game-best 29 points to go with seven rebounds and six assists along with Prince Eze’s double-double of 26 markers and 12 boards all went down the drain as the Altas slid to their second straight setback.
Perpetual Help remained stuck at No. 9 with a 2-4 card.
Wangs waxed hot early with a 13-2 blast to erect a 25-10 lead in the opening period.
But Perpetual retaliated with its own 24-7 run capped by Charcos’ triple to snatch the advantage, 34-32, midway the second quarter.
It was a seesaw battle from then on until the final stretch wherein veteran big man Publico and transfer guard Batiller took charge.
Publico drained three baskets, including an elbow jumper that handed Wangs an 84-81 spread with 51 seconds left.
Following Eze’s short stab for the Altas, 83-84, Batiller hit a go-ahead layup to push the Couriers ahead by three points again, 86-83.
AJ Coronel missed a potential game-tying trey before Quinto canned two free throws to seal the win.