Leading MVP candidate Jeron Teng shook off his early shooting woes and registered a rare triple-double to deliver Flying V a 114-91 conquest of AMA Online Education and claim the top seed in the 2017 PBA D-League Foundation Cup Monday at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
Firing blanks to start the game, the 23-year-old guard focused on the other facets of his game and racked up 21 points, 13 assists, and 11 rebounds to become only the fourth player to reach the elusive statline and keep the Thunder immaculate at 8-0.
“Jeron has nothing to prove when it comes to his scoring, but the good thing is he’s showing that he’s a multi-dimensional player. Parang Lonzo Ball ba,” said coach Eric Altamirano.
Teng’s performance earned him an entry to the PBA D-League’s top-flight triple-double club, alongside BDO-NU’s Ray Parks, Phoenix’s Mike Tolomia (twice), and Racal Motors’ Kent Salado.
Eric Salamat also got himself going from rainbow country, shooting 7-of-11 from threes to pace Flying V with 33 markers and five steals.
Jerick Cañada also added 15 points, five boards, and five assists, while Gab Banal chimed in a double-double of 14 markers and 12 rebounds as the Thunder drilled 20 treys out of 42 attempts.
Still, it was a confidence-boosting victory for Flying V in the eyes of Altamirano as it recovered from its horrific 18-2 start.
“We’re happy na kami ang unang nakapasok sa (quarterfinals). In the first half, we were a bit shaky, we were so relaxed and were complacent, but the good thing is we got our game back in the third quarter,” he said, as the Thunder unfurled 41 points in the game-tilting period.
Daniel Salonga topscored for the already eliminated AMA (1-7) with 20 points on a 5-of-16 shooting, on top of five rebounds and four assists, while Mario Bonleon shot a 6-of-20 clip from the field but was still able to contribute 16 markers, four boards, and three dimes.
Andre Paras had 14 points, 10 rebounds, and four blocks in the Titans loss.
In the first game, Centro Escolar University moved closer towards claiming a quarterfinals berth as it dispatched Gamboa Coffee Mix, 100-96.
Without Congolese big man Rod Ebondo, who is recovering from a battle with pneumonia, the Scorpions showed that they are ready for the playoffs as the locals stepped up to secure their fifth victory in eight outings.
Rich Guinitaran went bonkers from beyond the arc, going 6-of-10 shooting from threes to top his side with 24 points.
“Kinausap namin siya at sinabi naming kailangang yung kumpyansa, sa kanya dapat mag-start,” said coach Yong Garcia of the sweet-shooting forward.
But it wasn’t just Guinitaran, as Orlan Wamar shot 4-of-7 from threes to collect 16 markers, to go with 11 assists and five rebounds.
Art Aquino chipped in 18 points, four boards, and three assists, while JK Casiño had 14 markers, three rebounds, and two dimes for CEU.
The Scorpions bucked their slow start, recovering from a 30-17 deficit before eventually getting back in the game and unfurling 38 points in the third period to take an 83-66 edge to finish the frame.
Gamboa tried to roar back in the game, slicing the lead to as low as three, 95-92 before Guinitaran delivered a killer trey with 37.7 ticks left to restore order and take the 98-92 advantage for CEU.
Playing coach Leo Avenido topscored for the Coffee Lovers with 28 points on 9-of-16 shooting from downtown, while Mike Parala got a double-double of 17 markers and 11 boards.
Their efforts, though, went for naught as Gamboa dropped its seventh consecutive game and fell down to a 1-7 slate.
CEU 100 – Guinitaran 24, Aquino 18, Wamar 16, Casiño 14, Cruz 10, Uri 8, Fuentes 6, Baconcon 2, Saber 2, Arim 0, Intic 0, Jeruta 0, Manlangit 0.
GAMBOA COFFEE MIX 96 – Avenido 28, Parala 17, Cawaling 13, Acuña 11, Padilla 11, Montuano 10, Vidal 3, Acibar 2, Knuttel 1, Arellano 0, Dadjilul 0.
Quarters: 17-30, 45-47, 83-66, 100-96.
FLYING V 114 – Salamat 33, Teng 21, Cañada 15, Banal 14, Torres 9, Thiele 7, Dionisio 6, Tampus 4, Austria 3, Colina 2, Gamboa 0, Mendoza 0, Paredes 0, Webb 0.
AMA 91 – Salonga 20, Bonleon 16, Paras 14, Calma 13, Celso 9, Flores 7, Jordan 4, Carpio 3, Macaranas 3, Tobias 2, Alas 0, Asuncion 0.
Quarters: 18-27, 43-45, 84-65, 114-91.