MANILA, Philippines – The Cebuana Lhuiller Gems snapped a two-game losing streak by defeating the Cagayan Valley Rising Suns, 76-68, in the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup Tuesday at the Trinity University of Asia gym.
James Martinez scored 20 points for Cebuana, who won for only the fifth time in 11 games and are already out of the playoff race.
“We may be out of the playoff picture, but our remaining games still mean a lot to my players,” Cebuana head coach Boycie Zamar said in the league website. “Most of them are collegiate players who still need to learn the value of hard work and essence of playing the game.”
“For most of our games, I thought we didn’t play with a sense of urgency. But today, the spunk is there,” he added.
Cebuana built a double-digit lead in the third quarter, 41-30, but Don Trollano and Phil Mercader sparked a Cagayan Valley run by knocking down successive triples that pulled the Rising Suns to within two points.
The Suns countered with a 14-3 run of their own, with Martinez contributing eight points, to once again seize control, 59-46, entering the final quarter.
“I hope we could keep this level of play in our remaining games,” Zamar said.
Cebuana Lhuillier 76 – Martinez 20, Bustos 9, Sumang 8, Gamalinda 8, Zamar 8, Olivares 6, Banal 6, Leynes 5, Paredes 4, Javier 2, Flores 0.
Cagayan Valley 68 – Trollano 17, Bringas 15, Mercader 10, Melano 10, Ighalo 7, Mabulac 4, Cruz 2, Parala 2, Pinto 1, Jamito 0, Celada 0, Gonzales 0, Collado 0, Foronda 0.
Quarters: 21-16; 40-30; 59-46; 76-68.