MANILA –Jeron Teng became the first player in PBA D-League history to achieve three triple-doubles even as Flying V became only the third team to sweep the elimination round of a certain D-League conference after a 116-101 win over Batangas in the final game of the Foundation Cup preliminaries at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig on Tuesday night.
Teng fired 24 points and got 11 rebounds and 10 assists as Flying V asserted its mastery over Batangas to complete a 10-0 sweep of the eliminations.
“We’re happy that we’re able to get it done, but I’ll be happier if we win it all the way,” said Coach Eric Altamirano. “As much as we want to win a championship, we can’t look beyond that yet. Our focus right now is the playoffs and we have to hurdle muna yung semis.”
Thomas Torres led all scorers with 26 points, making 6-of-6 from beyond the arc, while Eric Salamat added 22 points, six assists, and two rebounds.
Robby Celiz, who was signed by Batangas after a stint with Zark’s, scored 15 points off the bench, while Cedric De Joya added 14.
Leo Avenido, who showed brilliance as playing coach for Gamboa, tallied six points in his own Batangas debut, while Otep Gabayni and Jebb Bulawan each had four and three markers, respectively, in their own debut with the team.
The loss dropped Batangas to fifth place and now has to beat CEU, which beat Racal earlier Tuesday and eventually stole the fourth seed from Batangas, twice in the quarterfinals to set up a rematch with Flying V in the semis.
CEU completed the playoff cast after dismantling Racal, 88-77.
The Scorpions used a game-deciding 16-4 run that turned a slim 70-68 lead to an 88-72 blowout with 1:29 left before letting the Alibaba score the game’s last five points for the final tally.
“I’m very thankful for my players that they followed our gameplan. Sinabi ko lang na ito na yung chance nila para ma-experience yung pressure na makapasok sa playoffs,” said Coach Yong Garcia.
Rod Ebondo came close to a 20-20 after tallying 22 points and 19 rebounds, while Orlan Wamar and Art Aquino each chipped in 12 markers for CEU.
Rian Ayonayon bounced back from a scoreless output on Thursday against Tanduay and led Racal, who exited the conference at an underwhelming 3-7 record, with 12 markers and six caroms.
The result dropped idle Marinerong Pilipino to sixth place. The team will face third-seeded Tanduay, armed with a twice-to-beat advantage, in the quarterfinals.
CEU 88 – Ebondo 22, Aquino 12, Wamar 12, Casiño 11, Guinitaran 9, Jeruta 8, Uri 6, Cruz 4, Arim 2, Manlangit 2, Baconcon 0, Intic 0
Racal 77-Ayonayon 12, Mangahas 10, Apreku 9, Cabrera 9, Cortes 9, Ortuoste 8, Pontejos 6, Tallo 5, Capacio 4, Lozada 3, Faundo 2, Gomez 0, Grimaldo 0
Quarterscores: 21-23, 41-44, 63-58, 88-77
Flying V 116-Torres 26, Teng 24, Salamat 22, Thiele 13, Paredes 9, Tampus 7, Banal 5, Dionisio 5, Cañada 4, Austria 1, Koga 0
Batangas 101-Celiz 15, De Joya 14, Isit 13, Ablaza 11, Saitanan 10, Mendoza 8, Ragasa 7, Avenido 6, Anderson 5, Gabayni 4, Dela Peña 3, Bulawan 3, Bautista 2, Laude 0
Quarterscores: 36-24, 57-46, 84-71, 116-101. Ivan Saldajeno/PNA-northboundasia.com