Hapee bags D-League title behind Thompson’s heroics
MANILA, Philippines – NCAA MVP Earl Scottie Thompson came up with multiple defensive plays late in overtime of game two to lead his Hapee Fresh Fighters to the 2015 PBA D-League Aspirants Cup championship over the Cagayan Valley Rising Suns, 93-91, on Thursday, February 19, at the Ynares Sports Arena.
“Scottie saved the day for us,” Hapee head coach Ronnie Magsanoc said after the game as his team celebrated on center court. “Ganun ka-simple.” (It's that simple.)
Thompson finished with 11 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, and 5 steals, while Garvo Lanete and Troy Rosario put up 22 and 20 points, respectively, for the winning club.
Moala Tautaa had his second straight disappointing performance for Cagayan Valley by tallying just 13 points on 4-of-16 shooting, including multiple missed field goals and free throws down the stretch of the fourth quarter.
Hapee swept the best-of-three finals and finished the conference with just one blemish on their record - a loss to Cagayan Valley in the eliminations.
While their game one win in the finals was a one-sided affair all throughout, Cagayan made sure game two would follow a different script.
The contest took a drastic change when Rosario was forced to sit out three minutes at the 3:27 mark due to a flagrant foul. During that stretch, both teams exchanged baskets and were tied at 81 with a minute to go following a put-back by Ola Adeogun.
On the succeeding play, Tautuaa, who had missed 5 straight shots, was sent to the line but didn’t convert a free throw. Hapee got the ball back with a chance to regain the lead but San Beda guard Baser Amer converted only one charity after he was fouled.
With 23 seconds to go, Cagayan handed the ball to Tautuaa but the big man missed in the paint. After grabbing the offensive board, he was fouled and made one of two at the line to tie the match at 82. After a time-out, Hapee went to Amer but he missed a turn-around jumper that could have sealed the game.
Amer finished with 7 points on 1-of-7 shooting in addition to 7 assists and 5 rebounds, while his college teammate Adeogun put up 19 markers, 12 boards, and 2 blocks.
Both teams went back and forth to start overtime with the Rising Suns establishing a 91-89 lead with 1:08 to go following a Melano put-back. Amer was fouled after but split his charities again, giving Cagayan the ball with 27 seconds left along with a one-point lead.
That’s when Thompson took over.
The Perpetual Help standout stole an inbound pass by Tautuaa and converted a wide-open lay-in to put his team up by one.
Not long after, he stole the ball again from Aly Austria and earned a trip to the foul line. Though he missed both charities, an offensive board by Adeogun garnered a foul from Cagayan, and he made one free throw to extend his team’s lead to 93-91.
With five seconds left, the Rising Suns had Don Trollano take a corner 3-ball to win the game, but Thompson came from behind and swatted the ball, which landed subsequently in Adeogun’s hands.
“Before he took the shot, I just leaped and hoped that I could block it,” Thompson said in Filipino after the game.
Abel Galliguez recorded 18 points and 7 rebounds for Cagayan, who went undefeated in the elimination round but just 1-3 in the postseason. Trollano contributed 17 markers off the bench.
D-League MVP Bobby Ray Parks played only 1:35 minutes after dislocating his right shoulder in the first quarter. He did not return to the game.
Hapee (93) - Lanete 22, Rosario 20, Adeogun 19, Thompson 11, Amer 7, Newsome 6, Dela Cruz 3, Elorde 3, Hayes 2, Parks 0, Long 0
Cagayan Valley (91) - Galliguez 18, Trollano 17, Melano 13, Tautuaa 13, Austria 8, Celada 7, Tayongtong 7, Mabulac 3, Dilay 2, Flores 2, Salamat 1, Santos 0, Capacio 0
Quarter Scoring: 16-17, 34-33, 68-65, 82-82, 93-91
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