Caida Tile continued to tear its way in the 2016 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup, this time escaping a valiant Wangs Basketball squad with a 110-106 victory Tuesday at San Juan Arena.
Needing a late push to put the Couriers to sleep, Jiovani Jalalon and Jason Perkins provided the final blow as the Tile Masters avoided a 15-point meltdown late.
“I just told them to play our game and keep running. Luckily, we were able to hit the big shots in the end. The thing with close games like this is we got to learn from it, experience it, and be better the next time,” said coach Caloy Garcia, as Caida claimed solo lead at 3-0.
Jalalon did it all for Caida with 22 points, nine assists, four rebounds, and two steals, while top rookie pick Jason Perkins tallied a double-double of 19 markers and 14 boards before fouling out in the final minute.
Jonathan Grey also had 17 points, while Chris Javier and Billy Robles both chipped in 10 markers each.
The Tile Masters had everything going for them and held a 65-50 lead midway in the third, before Wangs came back behind James Mangahas and Rey Publico, and even tied the game at 97 with 2:27 remaining in the game.
But Perkins drained an open step-back three and followed it up with a couple of freebies to once again hold a five-point edge, 102-97, keeping the lead until the end.
James Mangahas registered a double-double of 18 points and 11 rebounds for Wangs (1-2), while Francis Munsayac and John Montemayor also had 18 markers apiece in the defeat.
In the first game, Mike Tolomia took charge and carried Phoenix-FEU to a 114-102 stunner over AMA.
Clawing back from a 22-point deficit, 71-49, Tolomia fired 16 points in the third quarter and quarterbacked the Accelerators to their second win with a triple-double of 28 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists.
Roger Pogoy also had 21 markers, while Mac Belo bucked his foul-plagued first half to wound up with 18 points and five boards.
Still, Phoenix-FEU’s dismal showing in the first two quarters and a half did not go unnoticed, especially with coach Eric Gonzales chiding his wards.
“They wanted to play, they fought for it,” he said in Filipino.
“I told them after the first half, that they were not playing to their potential. If they don’t play the right way then they’s being cocky and disrespecting the game. I hope that they will realize it. There’s no magic. We need to work hard for every win,” he added.
Raymar Jose also notched a double-double with 16 markers and 10 rebounds, while Alfrancis Tamsi got 10, as the Accelerators outscored the Titans, 38-15 in the payoff period.
Jerramy King led AMA (0-2) with an all-around performance of 29 points, nine assists, seven rebounds, and five steals, while Jammer Jamito had 25 markers.