MANILA, Philippines – Cyrus Tabi hit the game-winning layup with barely a second left as the Batangas-EAC Generals scored a thrilling upset over the Go for Gold Scratchers, 87-85, in the PBA D-League Foundation Cup on Thursday, July 5, at the Ynares Sports Arena.
“I wasn’t expecting this [knowing] Go for Gold. They’re a very strong team. I think we’re just lucky that we got this one,” said Batangas head coach Oliver Bunyi. “Credit also to Cyrus. He stepped up and played like a true veteran.”
Tabi completed his heroics after Go for Gold’s James Martinez fumbled a pass that led to a Tata Bautista steal and assist.
New recruit Michael Mabulac had a double-double of 19 points and 11 rebounds to help the Generals recover from double-digit leads against the Scratchers, who fell to 4-2.
Bautista delivered 16 points and 7 rebounds while Tabi scored 8 of his 13 points in the payoff period, capped by the game-clinching layup.
Bunyi said he’s optimistic that the 4 new additions to the Generals lineup – Mabulac, Bacon Austra, Daniel de Guzman, and Joggy Laude – will boost their campaign as the Generals stayed in playoff contention with a 3-3 card.
“I was really confident with our new acquisitions. Hopefully ito na yung sagot sa dati naming pinoproblema,” said Bunyi. “I’m sure may improvement pa.”
(Hopefully this solves our previous problems. i’m sure there will be more improvement.)
Former Blue Eagle Kris Porter led Go for Gold with 22 points on a 50% shooting from deep to go with 6 rebounds.
Ron Dennison and James Martinez notched 12 markers apiece while Matt Salem poured in 10 points and 6 rebounds. Gab Banal also had a quiet performance with just 6 points along with 9 rebounds.
Batangas-EAC (87) – Mabulac 19, Bautista 16, Tabi 13, De Joya 7, Dela Pena 6, Derige 5, De Guzman 5, Laude 5, Arim 5, Austra 5, Manalo 3.
Go for Gold-CSB (85) – Porter 22, Dennison 12, Martinez 12, Salem 10, Desiderio 6, Gaco 6, Banal 6, Reyes 5, Ciprano 3, Pili 3.
Quarter Scores: 20-22, 47-48, 62-70, 87-85.
– Franco Luna/Rappler.com