MANILA, Philippines - Jeckster Apinan completed a three-point play in the last 34 seconds as Big Chill stayed unbeaten in four games with an 81-78 come-from-behind victory over Cebuana Lhuillier in the PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup at the JCSGO Gym in Cubao yesterday.
Quinton Heruela attacked the lane in the closing seconds and found an open Apinan underneath and the latter delivered plus the bonus charity to shatter the 77-all count and the Superchargers held on as time expired.
“We know we’ll have a tough time against the Gems because they are motivated to bounce back after a frustrating loss to Wangs Basketball last week. But we worked on their trapping and zone defense. I thought everybody we fielded in gave a maximum effort,” said Big Chill coach Robert Sison.
Earlier, NLEX debuted with a one-sided 93-60 rout of Arellano University while Café France trounced winless Derulo Accelero, 83-73, in the third game.
The defending champion Road Warriors dominated the game from the start and led by as many as 33 points in the fourth quarter. The Chiefs dropped to 1-3 in a tie with the Gems.
The Bakers, on the other hand, improved to 3-2 while dealing the Oilers their fourth straight setback.
Janus Lozada scored 14 points, Apinan had 13 markers and Mar Villahermosa chipped in 11 points and seven assists for the Superchargers.
The Gems appeared headed for a big win when Roi Sumang and James Martinez knocked successive triples to shove Cebuana to a 75-71 lead with 4:15 left in the contest.
But they missed their next four attempts – all from the three-point range – and had one turnover over the next three minutes.
Big Chill cashed in on Cebuana’s shaky finish and regained the lead at 77-75 on a corner jumper by Villahermosa with 1:17 to go.
Cebuana tied the game on Paul Zamar’s hit 24 seconds later but the Gems failed to come up with a strong finishing kick.