MANILA, Philippines - AJ Mandani saved the day with the game-winning basket as Tanduay Light squeaked past MJM Builders-FEU, 78-77, in the 2015 PBA D-League Aspirants Cup on Monday, November 3 at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
The Fil-Canadian guard sank the go-ahead bucket off the inbound pass from Gab Banal at the baseline which put Tanduay on top for good with 3.4 seconds left.
MJM, which came back from an 11-point deficit late in the third, tried to snatch the game away but failed to convert in the final play despite two attempts.
"I had a great look (at the basket). Off the back screen, they played the big man and I just had to roll, just like what coach drew up," said Mandani, who tallied 6 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists.
"It was a great team effort. Everybody played their hearts out, it was a great team win."
University of the East guard Roi Sumang led Tanduay with 16 points to go with 5 assists while Leo Daniel De Vera contributed a double-double of 15 markers and 10 boards.
For MJM, National University standouts Glenn Khobuntin and Gelo Alolino showed the way with 18 and 16 points, respectively.
Meanwhile, Jumbo Plastic eked out a 63-61 triumph over Cebuan Lhuillier to notch their second victory of the tournament.
Dexter Maiquez topscored with 14 point, 7 coming in the fourth, along with 9 rebounds. Diminutive Letran playmaker Mark Cruz added 10 markers, 5 boards and 4 assists.
Maiquez converted on two three-pointers in the last two minutes, including the go-ahead triple, 54-53, and the second which extended Jumbo Plastic's lead to 61-56 with 35.9 seconds remaining.
Kevin Ferrer, who made his return to the court after a wrist injury which caused him to miss half of UAAP Season 77 with University of Santo Tomas, gave the Gems some hope with a couple of triples within the final minute.
But Cebuana fell short as Paul Zamar missed a potential game-tying three-pointer.
Ferrer had 14 points and 5 rebounds for the Gems, which fell to 1-1.
In the first game, Hapee Fresh avoided a debut collapse and escaped AMA University, 69-61.
Hapee turned back the streaking Titans who clawed their way back into the game and came to withib 62-59 with under 4 minutes remaining in the game after Hapee squandered a 20-point 52-32 lead early in the third. But Hapee righted the ship just in time.
Troy Rosario led Hapee with 12 points and 5 rebounds as Ray Parks added 11 points, 6 boards and 5 assists.
For AMA, Philip Paniamogan spearheaded the comeback with his 14 points. – Rappler.com