(Photo by Richard Esguerra/Sports Gateway PH)
Café France Bakers-Centro Escolar University tallied their second consecutive victory in the 2016 PBA D-League Aspirants Cup after beating an undermanned National University Bulldogs-BDO side, 110-86, on Thursday at the Ynares Sports Arena, Pasig.
NU-BDO, which played without one of its main men Alfred Aroga, endured another defeat (0-2) in the hands of the Bakers after losing to the University of the Philippines-QRS/JAM Liner during the opening game last week.
Having two victories in a row served as a big boost for the Bakers, however, Café France Coach Edgar Macaraya was not satisfied with his men’s romp past an Alfred Aroga-less NU-BDO Bulldogs.
“Wala si Alfred Aroga who is our biggest problem in their team, that’s it. They have a great team to begin with, pero wala si Aroga”, noted Macaraya, who is also the head coach of the Centro Escolar University Scorpions.
The Bakers displayed a fast-paced ball transition onset of the first quarter which paved the way for them to score instant baskets, thereby piling up a premature 10-point cushion over NU-BDO.
Coach Eric Altamirano’s Bulldogs attempted to remedy the deficit, but Paul Zamar and Rodrigue Ebondo spearheaded the suffocating defense that denied NU-BDO’s efforts of crawling back and lifted Café France to a commanding 48-33 lead at halftime.
From then on, the Bakers went all the way to seal their second triumph.
Paul Zamar tallied a game-high of 22 points, while Rodrigue Ebondo chipped in 19 markers for the Café France Bakers-CEU, whose hard-nosed defense stance dominated the entire match.
Three more Bakers scored in double-digits. Carl Cruz finished with 15 points, John Carlo Casino capped off with 12 hits, and Aaron Jeruta had 11 markers.
Meanwhile, Matt Salem had 17 points and Jjay Alejandro contributed 15 points for the winless National University Bulldogs-BDO.
CAFÉ FRANCE BAKERS-CEU (110) — Zamar 22, Ebondo 19, Cruz 15, Casino 12, Jeruta 11, De Leon 7, Manlangit 6, Villahermosa 6, Arim 5, Guinitaran 3, Abundo 2, Opiso 2, Celso 0.
NU BULLDOGS-BDO (86) — Salem 17, Alejandro 15, Javelona 9, Labingisa 9, Tansingco 8, Perez 7, Salim 7, Diputado 6, Rono 6, Yu 2.