Big Chill used a strong second quarter surge to beat RnW Pacific Pipes, 78-67, Thursday to snatch the second outright semifinal berth in the PBA D-League Foundation Cup at the Treston Gym in Taguig.
The Superchargers turned a 13-14 deficit into a 43-27 lead at the half to claim their seventh win in nine outings, tying Cebuana Lhuillier in the team standings. Big Chill, however, grabbed the automatic semifinal berth due to the winner-over-the-other tiebreak.
“The job isn’t over,” said Big Chill coach Robert Sison. “Last conference, semifinals lang din ang inabot nila kaya we still have to wait and prepare.”
The whole Cebuana Lhuillier team watched the game hoping for a Steelmasters victory that would propel the Gems into the semifinals outright.
The Gems went home disappointed.
Jessie Collado, Mac Montilla and Mar Villahermosa scored 22 of Big Chill’s 30 points in the second period to take the lead for good in the game outscoring RnW Pacific Pipes, 30-13.
Big Chill also got solid contributions from Keith Jensen and Jewel Ponferrada, who canned baskets to stave off the Steelmasters’ comeback attempt.
Jensen led five Big Chill players in double figures with 14 points while Collado and Alex Mallari added 13 points. Montilla and Villahermosa each had 10 markers.
RnW Pacific Pipes had already clinched the fifth spot and a quarterfinal berth but still came fighting, trailing by only three points on a Raymond Ilagan post move in the 3:36 mark of the fourth period.
But Ponferrada converted a three-point play to start off a 9-0 run. He also finished that stretch with a basket after Jensen had back-to-back baskets.
The Steelmasters, who will try to overhaul Blackwater Sports’ twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals, finished the eliminations with a 4-5 win-loss card.
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