Marinerong Pilipino took down the younger Centro Escolar University, 88-74, to clinch the top seed in Group A in the 2019 PBA D-League Foundation Cup Monday at Paco Arena in Manila.
William McAloney topscored with 21 points and seven rebounds for the Skippers, who finished the eliminations with a 6-0 record and will face fourth-seed AMA Online Education in the quarterfinals armed with a twice-to-beat advantage.
Mark Yee produced 14 points, eight rebounds, three assists, two blocks, and a steal while his fellow ex-pro Dan Sara finished with 13 points, five rebounds, and three assists as well in the win.
“Masarap yung pakiramdam dahil yung last game ng eliminations, nakuha namin,” said coach Yong Garcia.
The Skippers were just clinging on to a slim four-point lead, 78-74, with 2:12 to go in the game, but Sara converted a four-point play off Malick Diouf’s sixth foul to make it 82-74 with 1:32 left.
Marinerong Pilipino then took full advantage of the Diouf’s absence as Yee made a lay-up to push the lead to 84-74 with 52.9 ticks left, and that was more than enough to seal the win.
“Very thankful ako sa mga players dahil yung endgame, talagang tinrabaho nila,” lauded Garcia.
Guard Kurt Sunga produced 17 points, five rebounds, and five assists to lead the Scorpions, who fell to 5-1 following the loss and will head into the next round as the second seed.
Diouf finished with a triple-double of 16 points, 17 rebounds, and 10 assists in the defeat, becoming the ninth player in the developmental league’s history to notch such performance.
CEU will now turn its focus on the third-ranked Asia’s Lashes Tomas Morato in the quarters which starts this Thursday.
MARINERONG PILIPINO 88 — McAloney 21, Yee 14, Sara 13, Clarito 10, Poligrates 10, Diputado 7, Ilagan 5, Alabanza 4, Reverente 2, Rios 2, Solis 0, Arim 0, Jamon 0.
CEU 74 — Sunga 17, Diouf 16, Guinitaran 14, Santos 7, Tuadles 7, Diaz 4, Escalona 3, Bernabe 2, De Ocampo 2, Murillo 2, Tagal 0.
Quarters: 21-22, 44-43, 58-59, 88-74.