Gamboa Coffee Mix playing-coach Leo Avenido hit the go-ahead free throw to cap his team’s amazing comeback and pull off an 85-84 thriller over Zark’s Burger at the start of the 2017 Philippine Baskteball Association (PBA) D-League Foundation Cup on Thursday at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
The 38-year old veteran finished with 15 points, 12 in the second half, to go along with his five rebounds and two assists to lead the Coffee Lovers to their maiden victory.
“I saw that the team’s morale was low during the start of the game so I tried to lift them up,” said Avenido.
Kenneth Acibar added 17 markers and seven rebounds while Jens Knuttel chipped in 12 points and four assists for Gamboa Coffee Mix, which rallied from a 13-point hold early in the game.
Avenido rallied his team back in the game in the final 20 minutes and with the help from Jett Vidal and Acibar, they closed the gap to 66-68, entering the final quarter.
The Coffee Lovers exploded for 32 points in the third period then limited the production of Rob Celiz, who finished with a game-high 26 markers, in the second half.
Christopher Cayabyab and James Mangahas both chipped in nine points while RJ Argamino and Jamil Sheriff has eight markers each for the Jawbreakers.
GAMBOA COFFEE MIX 85 – Acibar 17, Avenido 15, Knuttel 12, Acuna 9, Sarangay 8, Padilla 7, Vidal 7, Arellano 6, Jumao-As 2, Montuano 2, Dadjilul 0, David 0, Lacasresantos 0.
ZARK’S BURGER 84 – Celiz 26, Cayabyab 9, Mangahas 9, Argamino 8, Sheriff 8, De Leon 6, Ferrer 6, Bautista 5, Cudal 5, Juruena 2, Cariaga 0, Nalos 0.
Quarterscores: 17-29, 34-46, 66-68, 85-84