Caida Tile, UP-QRS win on PBA D-League opening day
MANILA, Philippines – Caida Tile Master and UP-QRS/Jam succeeded during the opening day of the 2016 PBA D-League Aspirants Cup held on Thursday, January 21, at the San Juan Arena.
Caida Tile opened their season in style, defeating Tanduay Light Rhum Masters, 90-79, behind strong performances by NCAA star Jiovanni Jalalon from Arellano University and former University of the East big man Chris Javier.
Jalalon, a household name in his collegiate league for his scoring and playmaking abilities, finished with 17 points and 9 assists while Javier posted 16 points and 7 boards.
They were aided by Billy Robles and Roider Cabrera who combined to go for 23 points and 11 rebounds.
Caida Tile shot 43% from the field and dominated the rebounding battle, 55-31.
De La Salle University star big man Jason Perkins, the top overall pick in this year’s D-League Draft, finished with 6 points and 9 rebounds during his 21-minute debut.
The contest was actually tied at 68 following a layup by National University guard Reden Celda, but Caida responded with an 8-0 run thanks to baskets from Javier, Janus Lozada, and Cabrera.
Tanduay was able to get within 3, 76-73, following a basket by its leading scorer Ryan Wetherell, but Javier scored to stop the bleeding for his team. Over the next few possessions Jalalon and company were able to seal the game at the foul line.
Wetherell came off the bench and led his team with 21 points, 8 boards, and 6 assists. Tanduay’s two Ateneo standouts, Von Pessumal and Ponzo Gotladera, finished with only 10 points on a combined 4-of-18 shooting from the field.
In the second game, superb contributions by UP star Paul Desiderio and former UPHSD standout Juneric Baloria led UP-QRS/Jam Liner past BDO-National University, 90-85.
Desiderio came off the bench and finished with 24 points on 7-of-8 shooting while Baloria, a reserve for the NLEX Road Warriors last PBA season, had 16 points in 21 minutes.
UP-QRS also received an impressive performance out of Raymond Aguilar who posted 18 points and 13 rebounds as well as former NU Bulldog Gelo Alolino, who had 11 points and 4 dimes.
Kevin Ferrer, who came in second in the recent UAAP men’s basketball MVP race, had 8 points on 3-of-11 shooting for the winning side.
Speaking of Ferrer, he hit two big free throws to put his team ahead 86-81 with 3:31 left in the contest, but a big shot by Nico Javelona had NU-BDO within 3, 86-83, not long after.
UP-QRS then called for time, but wasn’t able to score. Ferrer then committed a foul on former DLSU player turned NU Bulldog Matt Salem, but he was unable to make both free throw attempts.
NU-BDO obtained another stop and cut the lead to one after a Rev Diputado basket with 48.8 seconds left, but Aguilar sealed the win for his team with a 3-pointer right after, 89-85.
J-Jay Alejandro led NU-BDO with 21 points and 5 assists while Javelona produced 13 points, 5 boards, and 5 dimes. Salem scored 8 on 2-of-8 shooting. – Rappler.com