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Flying V survives close call, draws first blood in D-League semis

Flying V survived a testy challenge from Centro Escolar University and hacked out a gritty 65-61 Game 1 victory to draw first blood in their 2017 PBA D-League Foundation Cup semifinals Thursday at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.

With the Thunder holding a precarious 63-61 lead with 21 seconds left, Gab Banal drew a huge charging foul on the driving Rod Ebondo to halt the Scorpions’ fightback from nine-points down, 59-50, before Jerick Cañada iced the win with two freebies in the final 3.6 ticks.

Jeron Teng. PBA IMAGES
“I think when it comes to those situations, you really have to assert yourself defensively,” said coach Eric Altamirano. “I think this game really boiled down to the stops. We were able to make the crucial stops, especially the one Gab had on Ebondo. But overall, we had to grind it out since CEU played a really good game.”

Jeron Teng flirted with a triple-double as he tallied 17 points, 13 rebounds, and seven assists, while Banal got 12 markers on a 3-of-6 shooting from threes, to go with five boards, and two steals.

Eric Salamat also chimed in 12 points, three rebounds, and three dimes in the conquest, which stretched the Thunder’s winning run to 11 straight games.

Game 2 is on Tuesday, still at the Ynares Sports Arena.

Author: Randolph B. Leongson
Full Article: http://sports.inquirer.net/259925/flying-v-draws-first-blood-d-league-semis

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