HAPEE is one win away from bagging the PBA D-League Foundation Cup after defeating Café France, 83-72, in Game 1 of the best-of-three finals at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City on Thursday.

Chris Newsome came up with a game-high 18 points, 14 of which were downloaded in the second half.

Four other players finished in double digits, prompting Fresh Fighters coach Ronnie Magsanoc to describe their victory as a “collective effort.”

Even with the win, Magsanoc said that there is still a lot to be done to close out the series on Monday, June 22.

“I think we deserve to win because of the challenges the team had endured,” said Troy Rosario, who suffered a sprained ankle in the semifinals.

From a close first half, the Fresh Fighters banked on a strong fourth quarter performance to keep the Bakers at bay. Newsome’s freebies made it 74-64, with 2:15 left.

Jam Cortez had 15 markers while Samboy de Leon and Michael Miranda scored 11 points apiece for Café France. (Jan Keanu Plantilla, UST intern/Sunnex)