Mac Belo took over for Phoenix in the second half to help Phoenix survive a game Tanduay, 84-76 in Game 1 of the 2016 PBA D-League Foundation Cup Finals Thursday at Alonte Sports Arena in Binan, Laguna.
The former FEU star willed the Accelerators to victory, pouring 27 of his 30 points in the last two quarters, to go with 14 rebounds and three assists.
”He refused to give up,” said coach Eric Gonzales of Belo as Phoenix took a 1-0 series lead.
The Accelerators also bucked a sluggish first half where the Rhum Masters pounced on them in the paint.
Belo kickstarted Phoenix’s telling 10-0 Phoenix as it overhauled a 67-66 deficit midway in the fourth and turned it to a 76-67 lead with 3:17 remaining.
“Ang pep talk namin kanina is it depends kung sino ang uhaw. Sabi kasi ni coach Lawrence (Chongson), mas uhaw ang Tanduay. I challenged yung mga bata to show it on the court,” said Gonzales.
Phoenix would soon solve that woes, outscoring Tanduay, 22-6 in second chance points.
Roger Pogoy chipped in 22 markers, six boards, and three assists, while Mike Tolomia had 12 points, six dimes, and three rebounds.
Phoenix can finish the series and snare the title on Tuesday at Strike Gym in Bacoor, Cavite.
Reden Celda led Tanduay with 15 points, four rebounds, and three assists, while Rudy Lingganay got 13 markers, four dimes, and three boards in the loss.
PHOENIX 84 - Belo 30, Pogoy 22, Tolomia 12, Daquioag 7, Mendoza 7, Andrada 2, Colina 2, Escoto 2, Batino 0, Inigo 0, Jamito 0, Tamsi 0.
TANDUAY 76 - Celda 15, Lingganay 14, Eguilos 10, Ferrer 10, Mendoza 10, Alolino 6, Santos 4, Belencion 3, Tagarda 3, Acuna 2, Javillonar 0.
Quarterscores: 21-22, 40-40, 58-57, 84-76.