CafeFrance showed why it deserved to be mentioned among the league’s elite, dealing UP QRS/JAM Liner its first defeat of the conference with a 94-73 beatdown Thursday at the Ynares Sports Arena.
Winning their 3rd straight in as many games, the Bakers pulled themselves on a tie for the top seed with Caida Tile at 3-0.
“The boys played very well. Na-execute nila yung game plan. We had a very good start and biglang nawala yung laro yung UP. Credit to the boys talaga,” said coach Egay Macaraya.
Buoyed by an 11-0 blast to start the game, CafeFrance easily pulled away and held a lead as high as 27, 74-47, midway in the 3rd frame.
Carl Bryan Cruz led CafeFrance with 15 points, while Rod Ebondo eviscerated the Maroons frontline with a double-double of 14 markers and 12 rebounds.
Samboy de Leon also got 14 points on a 3-of-4 shooting from threes, Paul Zamar had 11 markers, and Mon Abundo finished with 10 points.
Raymond Aguilar shined for UP in its first loss with 14 points and 14 boards, while Kevin Ferrer wound up with 13 markers.
In the first game, Tanduay coasted to a 39-point rout of Mindanao, 95-56, to nail its 1st win in 3 tries.
JP Belencion led the beatdown with 18 points, while Adrian Santos contributed 14 markers and 7 rebounds. Rudy Lingganay and Lucas Tagarda both got 12 points in the win.
“I still believe in my heart. May materyales naman kami, and my veterans stepped up today and gave the guys an example,” said coach Lawrence Chongson. “After getting this first win, makaka-boost ito ng morale. We just have to buckle down and go to work again.”
The Rhum Masters were just motivated to get that elusive first W, running away with the game early and limiting the Aguilas to a measly 4 points in the 3 period.
Dexter Garcia and JR Ongteco paced the still-winless Aguilas with 11 points each.