MANILA, Philippines – It was a day of upsets in the PBA D-League Aspirants' Cup as Che'Lu Bar&Grill-San Sebastian College shocked top seeded Akari-Adamson University, 70-60, in Game 1 of their best-of-3 semifinals series on Tuesday at the Pasig Sports Center.
Veterans Cedrick Ablaza and Jeff Viernes took charge for the Revellers as they were instrumental in snaring the shocker.
Ablaza, who came to the team from Batangas-Emilio Aguinaldo College, made his imprint in the paint with 22 points, 12 of which coming in the third quarter, on top of four rebounds, and three steals, while Viernes tallied 16 markers, eight boards, and two assists in the big victory.
Che'Lu-San Sebastian's upset came on the heels off Zark's-Lyceum of the Philippines University's thrilling 90-87 overtime win over second-seeded Marinerong Pilipino earlier in the day.
"Usually, 'pag ganitong level ng game, I go to the veterans na. Sila na 'yung nakapaglaro dito before at alam na nila 'yung dapat gawin," said coach Stevenson Tiu.
Other than the exploits of their veterans, Che'Lu-San Sebastian's defense also played a huge role in their upset.
The Revellers limited the Soaring Falcons to only 2-of-25 shooting from beyond the arc, and allowed them to score only four points in the final quarter.
"I know pressured sila kasi they're the number one team. Kita naman sa start na talagang pinressure namin sila," Tiu said of Adamson.
Akari-Adamson's leaders also had a hard time in the game, with Papi Sarr going 4-of-11 for his 12 points and 10 rebounds while Jerrick Ahanmisi shot 3-of-12 from the field to muster a measly nine-point, four-rebound, and three-assist performance.
Simon Camacho led the way for the Falcons with his 13 markers and six boards.
Game 2 is on Thursday at Ynares Sports Arena.
CHE’LU BAR AND GRILL-SAN SEBASTIAN 70 — Ablaza 22, Viernes 16, David 7, Taganas 6, Bulanadi 4, Costelo 4, De Leon 4, Batino 3, Ilagan 2, Siruma 2, Collado 0, Faundo 0.
AKARI-ADAMSON 60 — Camacho 13, Sarr 12, Ahanmisi 9, Lastimosa 9, Mojica 8, Manganti 4, Espeleta 3, Catapusan 2, Bernardo 0, Pingoy 0, Zaldivar 0.
Quarters: 24-16, 34-35, 61-56, 70-60.
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