RnW Pacific Pipes stayed on course for one of the two outright semifinal berths after defeating Cagayan Rising Suns, 90-87, Thursday to extend its winning streak to four games in the PBA D-League Foundation Cup at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
The Steelmasters fought hard for the victory, overcoming a gallant effort by the Rising Suns to improve their record to 4-2 tying Cebuana Lhuillier, Blackwater Sports and Big Chill for second spot in the team standings.
Pido Jarencio, head coach of the RnW Pacific Pipes, had mixed emotions about the close win as they gear up for their next crucial contest against the Cebuana Lhuillier Gems on Monday.
“Focused na kasi sila sa Cebuana. Akala siguro nila ganoon kadali ang Cagayan, pero hindi nila alam, bilog ang bola,” said Jarencio. “Pero siyempre, nanalo na naman kami in the end game, naging matibay uli kami.”
Rocky Acidre led the Steelmasters with 21 points including 11 in the third period which saw them gain a nine-point lead, 68-59, entering the fourth.
Junar Arce had a game-high 27 points but his 11 markers in the fourth period got the Rising Suns in contention to win their first game of the conference.
Mark Dela Cruz evened the game at 77 with his lay-up but that was the last time the game was deadlocked. Jeric Teng converted two free throws followed by an Acidre lay-up increased the lead once again to four points, 81-77.
Cagayan remained winless after six matches.
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