PASIG CITY – Marinerong Pilipino banked on a huge rally in the fourth period to dispose of Batangas, 80-74, in continuing action from the 2018 PBA D-League Foundation Cup at the Ynares Sports Arena Monday. The Skippers fought from 18 points down in the third, 41-59, then turned to the heroics of Trevis Jackson, Kim Medina, Jorey Napoles and new recruit Irven Palencia to reverse the outcome in their favor.
Palencia, who played five games for AMA Online Education earlier in the tournament, tied the game at 72-72 and set the stage for Medina to give them the lead on a strong drive at the two-minute warning, 74-72. Cyrus Tabi would then tie the score for the last time but Jackson restored the lead via a technical free throw off Neljun Saldana followed by a pair of defensive stops that led to easy scores for Palencia.
“I can’t believe it, positive attitude gives positive results,” declared Coach Koy Banal. “I always remind the players that they are in this team because they are winners and they showed it again today.”
Jackson pumped in seven of his 20 points in the pivotal fourth on top of six rebounds and four steals. Robbie Manalang was next with 11 all coming in the first half while Palencia and Napoles added 10 each.
Clark Bautista paced Batangas with 15 points but was held scoreless in the final period. Earvin Mendoza and O’Neil Arim were the other double figure scorers with 12 and 11 respectively.
In the first game, an undermanned Go For Gold poured it on in the final period to take care of Centro Escolar University, 75-60. New recruit Rey Publico more than made up for the absence of four teammates as the Scratchers improved to 6-2 and a share of the league leadership with idle Che’Lu Bar.
In what could be his final game as a Scratcher, Paul Desiderio made sure he would be remembered by combining well with Jai Reyes in a crippling 11-0 run that gave them the lead for good in the third period, 49-43. From there, Desiderio was joined by Publico and Matt Salem in preserving the win with timely baskets in the fourth as the Scorpions suddenly folded.
Publico was consistent throughout the game to chip in team highs of 18 points and 11 rebounds. Desiderio followed with 17 while Salem fired 10 of his 16 points in the fourth.
“Our weakness is our rebounding and Rey answers that plus he is an energy guy,” said Coach Charles Tiu. Go For Gold failed to suit up Ron Dennison, James Martinez and Jerwin Gaco due to injury or illness and Gab Banal has yet to return from Australia while Desiderio is scheduled to leave for Serbia to join the University of the Philippines varsity for a training camp and will be available if Go For Gold will play in the best-of-five championship series next month.
Rich Guinitaran paced the Scorpions with 16 points while Keanu Caballero scored 10 of his 11 points in the first period. However, the team’s top scorers struggled with Tyron Chan making only four and Orlan Wamar going scoreless.
Marinerong Pilipino’s win thus pushed Che’Lu and Go For Gold into the semifinals. The remaining two spots are still up for grabs with only AMA out of the running.
How They Scored:
GO FOR GOLD (75) – Publico 18, Desiderio 17, Salem 16, Reyes 8, Porter 8, Pili 5, Castor 3, Capistrano 0, Tolentino 0, Wong 0.
CENTRO ESCOLAR (60) – Guinitaran 16, Ke Caballero 11, Oloume 9, Rojas 9, Fuentes 6, Chan 4, Formento 3, Ko Caballero 2, Wamar 0, Intic 0.
Period Scores: 22-19, 34-37, 54-47, 75-60.
MARINERONG PILIPINO (80) – Jackson 20, Manalang 11, Napoles 10, Palencia 10, Medina 9, Tratter 7, Johnson 6, Thiele 3, Ndiaye 2, Liwag 2.
BATANGAS (74) – Bautista 15, Mendoza 12, Arim 11, Mabulac 8, Bulawan 7, Saldana 5, Tabi 4, de Joya 4, de Guzman 4, de la Pena 3, Derige 1.
Period Scores: 18-20, 33-43, 48-65, 80-74.