Wangs, Cebuana, Cafe France score lopsided wins in PBA D-League opener

Jane Bracher
Wangs, Cebuana, Cafe France score lopsided wins in PBA D-League opener
Raring to take advantage of a fresh conference, 3 teams opened the D-League Aspirants Cup with strong showings

MANILA, Philippines – In a new season where the only two D-League champions since 2011 – NLEX and Blackwater, both of which moved up to the PBA – are no longer hanging around, every team is raring to be on top.

Wangs Basketball, Cebuana Lhuillier and Cafe France started strong in the 2015 PBA D-League Aspirants Cup with blowout victories against their opponents on opening day Monday, October 27 at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.

In the day’s main game, Wangs Basketball toppled the AMA University Titans, 96-78, with former San Sebastian guard Michael Juico leading the charge with his 18 points on 6-of-12 field goal shooting. 

Wangs unfurled a 13-0 run to open the contest and went on to shoot 12-of-22 from long range to keep D-League newcomers AMA University at bay.

Former Mapua forward Mark Acosta chipped in 15 points while Rocky Acidre, formerly of Arellano University, had 12 points. Acidre also contributed 4 dimes in Wangs’ 30-16 advantage in assists over the Titans. 

Jesmar Sabangan had a game-high 22 points, 4 rebounds and two assists for AMA University.

Cebuana's Bradwyn Guinto (right) tries to score a basket against Jessie Saitanan of Racal. Photo by Nuki Sabio/PBA Images

Meanwhile, it was another lopsided victory in the second game as the Cebuana Lhuillier Gems whipped the Racal Motors, 89-70, for their first win of the conference. 

The Gems recovered from a 16-21 first quarter setback before taking full control of the game come halftime, 44-33. 

Allan Mangahas and Paul Zamar gave Cebuana the lead with a triple each at the 6:15 mark of the second, 29-28, sparking an 18-2 blast that put Racal Motors down for good the rest of the way.

Mangahas and Zamar wound up with 13 points apiece while Bradwyn Guinto exploded for a double-double performance of 18 points and 14 rebounds.

Guinto, star center for the San Sebastian Stags, dropped 11 of his points in the first half to help his team climb out of an early 16-2 deficit. 

Cebuana’s offensive outburst continued in the second half as they shot 46% the entire game. They out-rebounded Racal, 54-44, and blew by their opponents in assists, 24-14.

Maverick Ahanmisi (left) tries to escape his defender in Cafe France's D-League Aspirants Cup opening game against MP Hotel. Photo by Nuki Sabio/PBA Images

In the conference opener, the Cafe France Bakers clobbered the Manny Pacquiao-owned newcomer MP Hotel Warriors, 86-59.

The Bakers slammed its foot on the gas pedal right from tip-off and raced to a daunting 31-9 advantage to end the first period.

The Warriors didn’t have any players in double digits and were led by Jumabon Bulac’s 9 points and 3 rebounds. They never came close as Cafe France erected its biggest lead of the ball game at 72-42 early in the fourth.

The 23-year old Fil-Am Maverick Ahanmisi, who is from the NCAA Division I team Minnesota Golden Gophers, topscored for the Bakers together with Mon Abundo with 11 points each. –

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