By Michael Jugado
BLACK Mamba responded to coach Vis Valencia’s urgings to boost its playoffs bid in the PBA D-League Foundation Cup yesterday.
Leaning on a big fourth quarter push, the Energy Drink turned back the Hyperwash Vipers 91-83 in Group B play of the season-ending tourney at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
Bobby Balucanag led a more-balanced attack for Black Mamba with a game-high 21 points on an impeccable 10-of-10 shooting from the field, to go with nine rebounds while Jett Vidal contributed 14 markers, four boards, and three assists.
Kim Medina and Peejay Barua also had 13 and 12 points, respectively as the Energy Drink hiked their record to 3-1, good for solo third.
Hyperwash saw its two-game winning run come to screeching halt and slipped to 2-3.
Black Mamba went into the match armed with an 80-75 win over Italiano’s Homme last Aug. 22.
The Vipers were coming off a 144-138 victory over McDavid-De La Salle Araneta last Aug. 19.
“Sabi ko nga, we’ll try to win this game to be close sa playoff spot. At 3-1, I think we’re safe already,” said Valencia.
Tied at 23-all at the break, the Energy Drink grabbed a 66-61 lead going into the payoff period.