ROD Ebondo hit a game-winning basket with 1.8 ticks remaining to lift Cafe France over Hapee, 56-55, and give the team its first PBA D-League crown on Thursday at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
Hapee was leading 55-54 with 5.9 seconds left, when Ebondo drove to the basket and sank a contested shot.
With no timeouts remaining, Fresh Fighters' Chris Newsome attempted a half-court heave but was blocked by Ebondo.
“That [play] was intended for him (Ebondo)... he wanted the ball and he wanted to win so I gave him the ball and he made the shot,” said Cafe France coach Edgar Macaraya.
Ebonde, for his part, said that he was relaxed and was focused to make the shot.
The Congolese big man had a game-high 18 points to go along with 11 rebounds and seven blocks.
Cafe France had to go through a grueling finals series with Hapee, which took Game 1 last week. The Bakers rebounded in Game 2, 76-70, to force a deciding match which they won by a hairline.
The Bakers were also able to avenge last year’s loss in the semi-finals to the Fresh Fighters. (Jan Keanu Plantilla, UST intern/Sunnex)