MANILA, Philippines – The Hapee Fresh Fighters are a win away from winning their second consecutive PBA D-League championship after taking down Cafe France, 83-72, in Game 1 of the Foundation Cup finals on Thursday, June 18, at the Ynares Sports Arena.
Former Ateneo Blue Eagle Chris Newsome was superb for the Fresh Fighters with 18 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 assists while San Beda big man Ola Adeogun scored 12 points and grabbed 5 boards.
Hapee, who won the last PBA D-League conference title – the Aspirants Cup – can clinch this conference’s championship with a win in Game 2 on Monday, June 22.
The Fresh Fighters looked on the verge of securing the victory with 2:15 remaining in the game and their lead at 74-64. But over the next few plays, a jumper by Maverick Ahanmisi and a 3-ball by Samboy De Leon made it a 5-point game with 1:23 left.
After Troy Rosario, who just returned from the Gilas Cadets’ gold-medal winning campaign in the 28th Southeast Asian Games in Singapore, converted two free throws, De Leon countered with another 3-pointer, cutting Hapee’s lead to 4.
But on the Fresh Fighters’ next two offensive possessions, Baser Amer – who also just returned from Singapore – and Rosario took turns hitting a 3-pointer and jumper, respectively, to put their team up 81-72 with 29 seconds left.
After Yutien Andrada missed a basket, Newsome sealed the win at the foul stripe.
Rosario and Amer both scored 11 points off the bench, while Gilas Cadet Earl Scottie Thompson also played and put up 10 points.
Jam Cortes led Cafe France with 15 points. De Leon scored 11.
There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.