MANILA, Philippines – The Zark’s-Lyceum Jawbreakers did not allow another Finals sweep to stain their year.
Lyceum – which got swept by San Beda in the last NCAA season – rebounded from a Game 1 loss as the Jawbreakers took care of the feisty Che’lu-San Sebastian Revellers, 98-90, in Game 2 of the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup Finals at the Ynares Sports Arena, Thursday, April 26.
Zark’s was determined to wrap the contest up for good, as they responded with an 8-0 run, including two straight threes by Mike Nzeusseu and Reymar Caduyac, for an 88-70 advantage that arrested a Che'lu rally.
The key run came just when the Revellers, who trailed by as many as 23 points, managed to cut the Jawbreakers lead to 10, 70-80, after a rally capped by a Ryan Costelo triple.
Newly-minted D-League MVP CJ Perez paced the Jawbreakers' balanced charge with 15 points.
Allyn Bulanadi singlehandedly took over for Che’lu in the closing minutes and even cut the lead to single-digit with a driving and-one, 83-91, but Zark's JV Marcelino iced the game with a fastbreak coaster off an interception with 34 seconds left in regulation.
Alfred Batino provided a much-needed spark off the bench in the second quarter, draining an easy layup to close the gap within 6, 22-28. But Mike Nzeusseu stopped their run with a crushing chasedown block at the next Che’lu possession.
Zark’s never looked back and clinched a 20-point lead, 54-34, with two JV Marcelino free throws at the halftime buzzer.
The other Marcelino meanwhile, continued rolling in the third, as JC answered every Che’lu run with hard drives and jumpers to keep their 20-point lead intact, 61-41. Bulanadi and the Revellers tried their best to manage the bleeding deficit, but Perez just deflated them again with a stepback three to end the third up 19, 75-56.
Game 3 moves back to the Pasig City Sports Center on Tuesday, May 1, where both teams will dispute the Aspirants Cup for one last time.
ZARK’S BURGER-LYCEUM 98 — Perez 15, Jc. Marcelino 13, Ayaay 11, Nzeusseu 11, Baltazar 10, Yong 9, Pretta 8, Ibañez 7, Caduyac 6, Jv. Marcelino 6, Tansingco 2, Serrano 0.
CHE’LU BAR AND GRILL-SAN SEBASTIAN 90 — Bulanadi 23, Ilagan 13, Batino 12, David 12, Costelo 11, Calisaan 7, De Leon 5, Ablaza 4, Siruma 3, Capobres 0, Collado 0, Faundo 0, Taganas 0.
Quarters: 27-16, 54-34, 75-56, 98-90.