Struggling to buy a basket in first half, Foton Toplanders shifted to high gear when it mattered the most to trip Sta. Lucia Realtors, 70-62, in the PCBL Chairman’s Cup Friday at the Marikina Sports Complex.
Down by 9, the Toplanders started to work like an efficient engine in the second half, pouring 40 points on 43% shooting to stun the Realtors and notch their 1st win in the league.
“They turned things around nung 3rd quarter pa lang, kumuha na ng puso, dumating na yung confidence, ayun nagtuloy tuloy na.” said Foton coach Jonathan Reyes, whose team had the first taste of victory against Sta. Lucia.
True enough, the Toplanders shook off their bad start and played suffocating defense after they head out of the dugout, allowing the Realtors to score only 23 points in the second half.
“In all the other games, lagi kaming overpowered sa Sta. Lucia kaya sabi ko nga it’s high time na laruin lang nila yung game, basahin nila,” he added.
Jerick Nacpil provided the necessary spark off the bench for Foton with 16 points and 10 rebounds, while Levi Hernandez fired 13.
Reyes was delighted on how his squad worked things out to avoid a 0-2 hole as they got away with a moral-booster win over long-time nemesis Realtors.
“Inisip ko mailap sa amin ang panalo dito sa PCBL, parang walang blessing galing kay Lord, so sabi ko siguro sabi ni Lord, magtrabaho muna kayo bago kami mabigyan,” said Reyes.
Arellano’s Kent Salado pulled off 15 points and 11 rebounds while import Laundry Sanjo also went for a double-double with 14 and 13 but could not weather the Foton’s second half surge. – By Jason Mercene
Follow this writer on Twitter: @JasonMercenePH