APEX Fuel-San Sebastian secured the top-seed and advanced to the 2022 PBA D-League Aspirants' Cup semifinals with a 70-64 win over Wangs Basketball @26-Letran Monday at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
Romel Calahat's 18-point and 6-rebound performance kept the Golden Stags' five-game win streak going to rise to a 5-1 record.
"Di namin inaasahan ito kasi underdog kami pero tignan natin ang puso ng mga bata," said coach Egay Macaraya. "Yung character at kagustuhan nilang manalo, doon pa lang deserving na sila."
Apex Fuel-San Sebastian also drew big games from Rafael Are, who had 12 points, three boards, and two assists; Rhinwil Yambing, who got 10 points and seven boards; and Alex Desoyo, who scored back-to-back buckets in the final five minutes to restore order and take a 68-58 lead with 3:22 remaining.
The Golden Stags can now head to their game against Adalem Construction-St. Clare without any pressure as they are finally out of the woods in this intense playoff race.
The Knights relied on Fran Yu talliecd18 points, eight rebounds, and seven assists.
Wangs-Letran, however, dropped its third straight game to fall to 3-3 and will fight for its life against Builders Warehouse-UST on Tuesday.
Apex Fuel-San Sebastian 70 -- Calahat 18, Are 12, Yambing 10, Desoyo 8, Una 7, Sumoda 5, Altamirano 5, Shanoda 2, Escobido 2, Suico 1, Cosari 0, Garcia 0, Felebrico 0.
Wangs-Letran 64 -- Yu 18, Sangalang 13, Paraiso 11, Guarino 11, Javillonar 9, Monje 2, Bataller 0, Olivario 0, Reyson 0, Ariar 0, Lantaya 0.
Quarters: 23-14, 38-29, 58-49, 70-64.