Ebondo game winner leads Cafe France to D-League title
MANILA, Philippines – A game-winning layup by Rodrigue Ebondo with 1.8 seconds remaining gave Cafe France the 2015 PBA D-League Foundations Cup title over the Hapee Fresh Fighters, 56-55, in game 3 of the finals on Thursday, June 25, at the Ynares Sports Arena.
Ebondo, who finished with a game-high 18 points to go with 11 rebounds and 7 blocks, capped off a tremendous performance with his clutch basket which was preceded by a critical, championship-costing 24-second shot clock violation by the Fresh Fighters with 5.9 seconds left.
Samboy De Leon - the best player of Cafe France in Game 2 - and Maverick Ahanmisi each put up 7 markers in the victory.
Hapee, which was playing without their San Beda Red Lion players in Ola Adeogun, Baser Amer, and Art Dela Cruz, was led by the 12 points and 9 rebounds of Nico Elorde. Chris Newsome pitched in 8 points and 7 boards, while Troy Rosario had 8 points and 16 rebounds.
The San Beda players reportedly did not play due to rest with the NCAA Season 91 opening day to take place on Saturday, June 27, when the Red Lions take on the Mapua Cardinals.
The game was tied at 52 with 2:30 remaining after an exchange of runs in the first 3 quarters and most of the fourth period. With 1:53 left, Jam Cortes hit a clutch layup to extend Cafe France’s lead to 54-52. But over a minute later, a press by the eventual champions left Elorde open for a triple, which he converted.
Ebondo tried to regain the lead with 30 seconds left but was rejected by Rosario. After Hapee burned two time-outs due to inbounding problems, they were unable to find a decent shot attempt and was called for a shot clock violation.
After which, Ebondo was given the opportunity to win the game another time and converted.