D-League: FEU spoils big game by ex-Tamaraw Tolentino
MANILA, Philippines – Chadao-FEU outlasted Wangs Basketball, 71-63, in the 2019 PBA D-League at the JCSGO Gym on Tuesday, April 23.
Speedy sophomore guard L-Jay Gonzales led the Tamaraws' charge with 20 points, 8 rebounds, and 4 assists. This stellar performance spoiled the 17-marker, 13-board double-double outing by the Couriers' Arvin Tolentino, who faced his old team for the first time since graduating from FEU.
"'Yung improvement ng team namin, nagmumula kay L-Jay (Our team's improvement starts with L-Jay)," said coach Olsen Racela as he praised his point guard's growth.
Gonzales helped the Tamaraws hold off a feisty comeback from the Couriers, turning a 59-56 affair to a commanding 68-60 lead in the final 38.6 seconds.
"I feel like we've been improving every game and that's really our goal, to improve in every game we play. That's what's happening with us," Racela said.
Branrey Bienes backstopped Gonzales with 13 points and 3 boards, while Joseph Nunag added 10 markers as ChaDao-FEU rose to solo 4th place at 4-3 in the Foundation Group.
Former UP players Gelo Vito and Jarrell Lim each chipped in 7 points for the Couriers, who dropped to 3-3.
Earlier, Petron-Letran barely survived a massive comeback by St. Clare-Virtual Reality, 91-90.
Alvin Pasaol went off for the Knights in the payoff period, dropping 12 of his 28 points to help hold off the surging Saints. Jerrick Balanza stayed hot from a season-best 35-point outing and chipped in 22 markers with 5 boards.
Saints guard Paul Santos had a chance to steal the game with a baseline jumper, but his teammate Junjie Hallare was whistled for an offensive foul for a moving screen in the final 1.7 seconds, which all but dashed their side's hopes after crawling back from a deficit as big as 28, 20-48, in the first half.
"Moving screen eh," Letran coach Bonnie Tan said. "Hindi naman ako referee, but in my view, ganoon 'yung nangyari." (It's a moving screen. I'm no referee, but that's what happened in my view.)
Hallare, however, clearly saw it the other way.
"'Di talaga [moving screen] kasi wala naman. Tsaka crucial eh. Ilang segundo na lang, walang tumatawag ng ganoon. 'Di na lang sana tinawagan," he said.
(It's really not a moving screen because there wasn't one. And that was crucial. In the final few seconds, no one calls that. They shouldn't have called it.)
However, the call was final, and Hallare finished with 22 points – 13 in the 4th – with 7 boards in the heartbreaking loss.
The win allowed the Knights to claim solo 3rd place in the Aspirants Group at 5-2, while dropping the Saints to 4th at 4-2 following their second-straight loss.
FEU vs Wangs
ChaDao-FEU 71 - Gonzales 20, Bienes 13, Nunag 10, Cani 9, Ebona 6, Celzo 4, Tuffin 3, Comboy 3, Flores 2, Tchuente 1, Stockton 0, Bayquin 0, Senining 0.
Wangs 63 - Tolentino 17, Vito 7, Lim 7, Tongco 6, Estrella 5, De Mesa 5, Singontiko 5, Inigo 3, Gerero 2, Santos 2, Bulawan 2, Lucas 2, Brojan 0, Ilac 0.
Quarters: 20-16, 38-31, 55-50, 71-63.
Letran vs St. Clare
Petron-Letran 91 - Pasaol 28, Balanza 22, Ambohot 11, Taladua 11, Balagasay 6, Caralipio 4, Olivario 4, Reyson 2, Ular 2, Sangalang 1, Mina 0.
St. Clare-Virtual Reality 90 - Hallare 22, Pare 20, Rivera 18, Fontanilla 9, Rubio 8, Lunor 8, Santos 3, Palencia 2, Fuentes 0.
Quarters: 34-13, 54-35, 74-55, 91-90.