Jeff Viernes scattered 22 points in his PBA D-League return, lifting Che'Lu Bar and Grill-San Sebastian to the semi-finals with an 80-72 victory over Gamboa Coffee Mix-St. Clare Thursday at Pasig Sports Center.
RK Ilagan also had a big game, knocking eight of his 10 points during the decisive uprising. He capped his game with a pair of triples that gave the Revellers a 64-60 lead with 5:34 to play.
The 28-year-old guard gave the Revellers a much-needed shot in the arm and took the bulk of the scoring cudgels. He poured 10 of his total points in the payoff period as the Revellers wiped out a 13-point deficit to advance to the next round.
Viernes, who briefly played for Phoenix last season in the PBA before taking his act to Thailand, also registered five rebounds, five assists, and two steals in his return to the developmental circuit.
"Although two practices pa lang yung mga bagong players sa amin, I feel sila ang nag-carry sa team sa end game namin," said coach Stevenson Tiu.
Che'Lu-San Sebastian faces top seed Akari-Adamson in the best of three semis.
New acquisitions Cedrick Ablaza had nine points and 12 rebounds, and Jay-R Taganas, added five points and eight boards in their debut for Che'Lu-San Sebastian. Samboy de Leon wound up with nine points and six rebounds.
With the job done, Tiu and his boys are now focused on the semis and the Falcons. "Siguro we have to work doubly hard kasi disciplined na team (Falcons) yan eh. Walang time na makakapag-relax ka," said Tiu referring to Akari-Adamson.
Chris Bitoon led the way for the Coffee Lovers with his 19 points and seven rebounds, while Joshua Fontanilla had 13.
Fil-Am guard Trevis Jackson struggled in his first taste of the playoff, shooting 4-of-12 from the field and finished with 11 points.
CHE'LU BAR AND GRILL-SAN SEBASTIAN 80 -- Viernes 22, Ilagan 10, Ablaza 9, De Leon 9, Bulanadi 7, Batino 6, Costelo 6, Taganas 5, Collado 4, Faundo 2, Siruma 0.
GAMBOA COFFEE MIX-ST. CLARE 72 -- Bitoon 19, Fontanilla 13, Dionisio 12, Pare 12, Jackson 11, Rubio 5, Decano 0, Hallare 0.
Quarters: 16-27, 37-40, 52-56, 80-72.