Ilagan’s clutch rally completes Che’Lu comeback vs Gamboa to qualify for semis

JR Isaga

This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

Ilagan’s clutch rally completes Che’Lu comeback vs Gamboa to qualify for semis
This eliminates Gamboa-St. Clare Coffee Lovers from the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup playoff

MANILA, Philippines – The twice-to-beat Che’lu San Sebastian College Revellers staged an 80-72 comeback victory to eliminate the 5th-seeded Gamboa-St. Clare Coffee Lovers at the kick-off of the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup playoffs on Tuesday, April 10.

With the win, Che’lu now moves on to face the first-seeded Akari-Adamson Falcons, who clinched the top spot and outright semis berth after their final regular-season win against JRU.

Jeff Viernes returned from a pro ball stint in Thailand to lead Che’lu with 22 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists off the bench. Kent Ilagan made up for a dismal first 3 quarters and led the Revellers’ comeback with an 8-point rally in the clutch to end with 10 points and 9 boards.

However, it was the do-or-die Gamboa who led for a majority of the game. Chris Bitoon made that happen with a red-hot 8-0 personal run in the first quarter to lead Gamboa at 10-4. He ended the period with 12 points as his team led 27-16.

Bitoon drained another triple early in the second for the 34-26 lead, but Che’lu slowly chipped away with Viernes at the helm. Four different players scored in a quarter-ending 8-0 run as Gamboa clung to a 3-point lead at the half, 40-37.

The Coffee Lovers again extended to a small 52-45 lead, but Samboy De Leon erased that with back-to-back fastbreak layups to inch within 3 once more, 49-52. Gamboa ended the 3rd 56-52 off two foul shots from speedy reserve Joshua Fontanilla.

At the payoff period, De Leon sank a corner triple to tie the game at 58 for the first time since the opening quarter. This would spark a 13-3 run that included back-to-back long bombs and a putback lay-in from Ilagan. All of a sudden, Che’lu held a 66-60 lead in the last 4 minutes and never looked back. Fontanilla and Mohammad Pare tried to mount a comeback, but former AMA big man Jay-R Taganas bullied down low for an and-one to seal the deal.

Five players scored in double-figures for Gamboa’s last stand, led by Bitoon who ended with 19 points after a blazing first quarter. Meanwhile, Pare anchored the team on both ends with 12 points and a game-high 16 boards for the double-double finish.

The Scores

Che’lu-SSC (80) – Viernes 22, Ilagan 10, De Leon 9, Ablaza 9, Bulanadi 7, Costelo 6, Batino 6, Taganas 5, Collado 4, Faundo 2

Gamboa-St. Clare (72) – Bitoon 19, Fontanilla 13, Pare 12, Dionisio 12, Jackson 11, Rubio 5, Hallare 0

Quarter Scores: 16-27, 37-40, 52-56, 80-72. 


Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.

Summarize this article with AI

How does this make you feel?

Download the Rappler App!