Wangs Basketball rallied to escape Centro Escolar University, 88-87, in the 2017 Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) D-League Foundation Cup on Tuesday at the JCSGO Gym in Cubao, Quezon City.
Michael Vincent Juico exploded with 26 points on 9-of-17 shooting on top of eight rebounds to deliver the Couriers their first win.
Timothy Habelito added 12 markers and nine boards while Chrisian Chavez chipped in 11 points for Wangs.
“Our game plan with [Rod] Ebondo just worked today, and that is to double team him. Good thing, my players listened and they were really hungry to win,” said Wangs’ coach Pablo Lucas.
Wangs’ Jason Riley drilled two charities in the final 22.9 seconds to give his team an 88-87 lead then sealed the victory with solid defense in the closing seconds.
Down by 10 points in the final canto, Juico fired 12 of his 26 points in the payoff period to trim the lead to 79-84 with 1:33 remaining.
Then Habelito and Juico combined forces to inch closer, 84-86, and Michole Sorela tied the game at 86-all.
Ebondo’s split pushed CEU within one, 87-86, then Riley completed the come-from-behind win with the go-ahead free throws.
“With strong defense, I tell them, that we can run ahead of them,” added Lucas.
Ebondo had a double-double performance with 27 points and 20 rebounds to lead the Scorpions. Casino and Mark Neil Cruz contributed 17 and 12 markers, respectively for CEU.
WANGS 88 – Juico 26, Habelito 12. Chavez 11, Ambuludto 8, Asuncion 7, Riley 5, Herndon 4, Montemayo 4, Sorela 4, King 3, Arambulo 2, Importante 2, Tayongtong 0.
CEU 87 – Ebondo 27, Casino 17, Cruz 12, Uri 8, Manlangit 7, Aquino 6, Intic 4, Wamar Jr. 4, Arim 2, Baconcon 0, Fuentes 0, Guinitaran 0, Jeruta 0, Saber 0.
Quarterscores: 12-14, 33042, 57-60, 88-87