Solidifying his case as the conference’s best performer, Jeron Teng racked his third straight triple-double to help Flying V complete a sweep of the elimination after dumping Batangas, 116-101 Tuesday in the 2017 PBA D-League Foundation Cup at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
The 23-year-old swingman fired 24 points, hauled down 11 rebounds and dished out 10 assists to become the player with the most triple-doubles in league history.
His efforts also led to the Thunder becoming only the fourth team to complete a perfect run in the eliminations, following the footsteps of NLEX in the 2012 and 2014 Foundation Cups and Cagayan Valley in the 2015 Aspirants’ Cup.
But coach Eric Altamirano isn’t dwelling much on the Thunder’s historic feats as he keeps his players grounded with their eyes still set on the ultimate goal.
“We’re happy that we’re able to get it done, but I’ll be happier if we win it all the way,” he said. “As much as we want to win a championship, we can’t look beyond that yet. Our focus right now is the playoffs and we have to hurdle muna yung semis.”
Thomas Torres also had his share in the rout, going bonkers as he drained all of his six treys to drop 26 markers and five boards.
Eric Salamat added 22 points, six assists, and two rebounds in the triumph.
Flying V was in control for the whole game that even when Batangas closed in, 84-73, with 9:53 left, Salamat and Torres were able to make buckets to restore the lead back up to 20.
New acquisition Robby Celiz towed fifth-seed Batangas (6-4) with 15 points off the bench, while Cedric de Joya got 14 markers and five assists.
The Batangueños will meet fourth-ranked Centro Escolar University, which will enjoy a twice-to-beat advantage, in the quarterfinals on Thursday.
FLYING V 116 – Torres 26, Teng 24, Salamat 22, Thiele 13, Paredes 9, Tampus 7, Banal 5, Dionisio 5, Cañada 4, Austria 1, Koga 0.
BATANGAS 101 – Celiz 15, De Joya 14, Isit 13, Ablaza 11, Saitanan 10, Mendoza 8, Ragasa 7, Avenido 6, Anderson 5, Gabayni 4, Dela Peña 3, Bulawan 3, Bautista 2, Laude 0.
Quarters: 36-24, 57-46, 84-71, 116-101.