Tanduay grabbed the third playoff spot after defeating Wangs Basketball.
Tanduay became the third team to book its seat in the 2017 PBA D-League Foundation Cup playoffs, stopping Wangs Basketball, 93-81, Tuesday at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
Paul Varilla took the scoring cudgels in the clutch for the Rhum Masters as he poured five of his nine points in the final three minutes to halt the Couriers’ late uprising and turn a close 82-77 lead with 3:03 to play to a commanding 12-point final spread.
James Martinez paced Tanduay with 16 points off the bench, while Von Tambeling uncorked 15 markers, six rebounds, two assists, and three steals.
Jaymo Eguilos also chimed in 13 points and five boards, while Lester Alvarez had 11 markers, eight assists, and four rebounds in the win as the Rhum Masters solidified their stronghold of the third spot at 6-2.
Tanduay extended its winning streak to three games, and coach Lawrence Chongson is seeking to further stretch that as he gears towards the quarterfinals.
“We have to stay sharp. Yung focus dapat nandoon, lalo na sa transition defense and we’re really putting emphasis on the team’s collective focus,” he said. “We got sustain the momentum. I’ve been here long enough and we know how it works.”
Wangs saw its two-game winning run halted as it goes down to sixth place with its 5-4 record.
Michael Juico uncorked 24 points, eight rebounds, and four assists, while Robbie Herndon had 16 markers and seven boards in the losing effort.
In the first game, Marinerong Pilipino kept its flickering hopes alive in the playoff race as it drubbed Zark’s Burgers, 119-74.
Mark Isip imposed his veteran presence early, pouring nine of his 12 points in the opening frame, while also hauling down six rebounds, as the Skippers got themselves free from the clutches of the Jawbreakers and establishing an early 17-7 advantage which led to the 45-point beatdown.
Pao Javelona also did his part, scattering 17 markers, seven assists, four boards, and three steals, while John Lopez went a board shy of a double-double as he tallied 15 points and nine rebounds.
“We just want to break their spirit early on, pound them, and attack them. The players responded even if we found out that Mac (Cardona) was playing today,” said coach Koy Banal, as Marinerong Pilipino streaked to two straight victories and improved its standing to 3-4.
Robby Celiz carried also-ran Zark’s Burgers (1-8) with 16 points, five rebounds, and four assists, while James Mangahas had 12 markers and five boards in the team’s fifth consecutive defeat.
Seeking to revive his professional career, Mac Cardona got 11 points, three rebounds, and two assists in his 23 minutes of play for the Jawbreakers.
MARINERONG PILIPINO (119) – Javelona 17, Lopez 15, Isip 12, Moralde 12, Salcedo 12, Gumaru 11, Publico 11, Alabanza 7, Subido 7, Iñigo 5, Sargent 4, Gavieres 4, Javillonar 2, Marata 0.
ZARK’S BURGERS (74) – Celiz 16, Mangahas 12, De Leon 11, Cardona 11, Argamino 9, Nalos 6, Bautista 5, Cudal 4, Ferrer 0.
Quarters: 27-15, 55-38, 87-57, 119-74.
TANDUAY (93) – Martinez 16, Tambeling 15, Eguilos 13, Alvarez 11, Taganas 10, Varilla 9, Palma 6, Gaco 5, Sollano 4, Villamor 4, Santos 0, Sanga 0, Vigil 0.
WANGS BASKETBALL (81) – Juico 24, Herndon 16, De Chavez 11, Gabriel 9, Bitoon 7, Ambulodto 5, Habelito 4, Montemayor 2, Arambulo 2, Sorela 1, Riley 0, King 0.
Quarters: 27-16, 46-38, 66-57, 93-81.
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