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Batangas-EAC shocks CEU with epic comeback

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Batangas-EAC pulled off a miraculous rally down the stretch to stun CEU, 89-87, in a crucial PBA D-League Aspirants Cup affair at the Pasig Sports Center in Pasig on Monday.

Cedric De Joya drained the eventual game-winning triple with 42.3 seconds left as the also-ran Generals came back from 24 points down at 20-44 to play spoilers to the Scorpions’ outright semifinals berth bid.

“At least yung preparation namin sa kanila nung Holy Week, nagawa namin. Nagtrabaho lang kami, naka-recover kami, at para sa amin talaga yung win,” said coach Ariel Sison.

CEU still put up a late scare to Batangas-EAC as Joseph Manlangit what could have been an equalizing triple with 10.6 seconds left in the game. The referees, however, counted it as a long two after confirming that Manlangit stepped on the three-point line.

Jerome Garcia still left the window open for the Scorpions to force overtime as he only made 1-of-2 from the free throw line, but Cedrick Ablaza saved the day for the Generals as he made the game-saving steal with four seconds on the clock.

De Joya finished with 18 points, 10 coming in the fourth quarter including seven in the last 1:42 of the game, with three assists, two rebounds, and two steals for Batangas-EAC, which snapped a four-game slide.

Judel Fuentes fired 26 markers for CEU, which now needs to wait for the result of Marinerong Pilipino and Akari-Adamson’s remaining games to determine if the team will get the outright semifinal spot.

The Skippers will battle the Che’Lu-San Sebastian Revellers on Tuesday at the said venue with a win, giving the Skippers the outright semis seat and a loss opening a possibility of a four-way tie for first place at the end of the eliminations.

The Scores:

BATANGAS-EAC 89 — De Joya 18, Tampoc 15, Dela Pena 13, Garcia 13, Ablaza 12, Maguliano 10, E. Mendoza 5, Altamirano 3, Bugarin 0, Corilla 0, Estacio 0, Martin 0, J. Mendoza 0.

CEU 87 — Fuentes 26, Manlangit 16, Cruz 15, Aquino 8, Arim 6, Veron 6, Saber 4, Caballero 3, Galinato 3, Chan 0, Guinitaran 0, Opiso 0, Wamar 0.

Quarters: 18-36, 45-54, 68-74, 89-87. (PNA)