Marlon Gomez pulled down a crucial rebound with time winding down as Erase Plantcenta defeated Boracay Rum, 69-66, on Tuesday to boost its playoff hopes in the PBA D-League Foundation Cup at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
Trailing 65-67, the Waves had a chance to tie the game with 8.4 seconds remaining but Stephen Siruma missed badly on his second free throw attempt.
Maclean Sabellina cornered the offensive rebound but his follow shot fell short and Gomez secured the ball before being fouled by Siruma with 4.2 seconds left. The power forward sank both his free throws to close out scoring.
The Erasers, who bounced back from a 76-85 against defending champion and semifinalist in waiting NLEX, improved to 3-4 (win-loss) and moved up to sixth spot.
“Medyo mabigat ang laban,” said Erase Plantcenta coach Yong Garcia, referring to their bid to secure the last quarterfinal berth. The Erasers wind up their elimination assignment against powerhouse Big Chill and Cebuana Lhuillier.
“I just kept reminding the players to keep their focus. We’ll see what happens.”
Allan Mangahas led Erase Plantcenta with 18 and Macky Acosta added 11.
Mark Sarangay and Gomez had 10 rebounds apiece for the Erasers, who overcome poor field goal shooting (31 percent) with aggressive defense and steady shooting from the line (19 of 27).
Toto Bandaying tallied 12 points, Kokoy Hermosisima contributed 10 and Sabellina had 10 and 13 rebounds for Boracay Rum, which picked up its second straight loss and fifth overall in seven games endangering their bid make the next round.
Erase Plantcenta held a shaky 52-50 lead, when Acosta and Anthony del Rio scored on three-point plays as the Erasers stretched the margin to nine points.
With their back against the all, the Waves battled back by scoring 13 of the next 18 points to pull within 63-65 on a 3-pointer by Siruma with 1:53 left to play.
Boracay Rum made 41 percent of their shots (26 of 60) but connected just 9 of 23 attempts from the line. (Dave Coros)
Erase Plantcenta 69 – Mangahas 18, Acosta 11, Dizon 9, Gomez 8, Sarangay 6, Vijandre 5, Del Rio 5, Ferreria 4, Vidal 3, Stevens 0.
Boracay Rum 66 – Bandaying 12, Hermosisima 10, Sabellina 10, Siruma 8, Cornejo 8, Abaya 6, Acibar 5, Foronda 5, Morial 2, Eguilos 0, Terso 0.
Quarters: 18-17; 33-30; 52-46; 69-66