PASIG CITY – Centro Escolar University did what they had to do and win in order to barge into the playoffs of the 2017 PBA D-League Foundation Cup on the final day of the elimination round at the Ynares Sports Tuesday (August 1). The Scorpions clipped Racal Motors, 88-77, and settle the six-team playoff cast.
CEU made its move in the fourth period with JK Casino and Orlan Wamar hitting big triples to complement the inside forays of Rodrigue Ebondo via an 18-4 run that resulted in their biggest lead of the game, 88-72, and 1:29 remaining. The win was the Scorpions’ sixth in 10 games and their final playoff ranking will be determined by the final game between undefeated Flying V and Batangas.
“I told Wamar and Casino that this is your chance to experience playing under great pressure,” said Coach Yong Garcia. The pressure was indeed great for CEU as a loss would send them to an early vacation while giving idle Wang’s Basketball a free ride into the playoffs.
Ebondo had another monster effort of 22 points and 19 rebounds. Art Patrick Aquino and Wamar followed with 12 markers each while Casino added 11 off the bench.
Racal had hoped to play the role of spoiler effectively controlled the first half behind Michael Ayonayon and Allan Mangahas. Both eventually topped Racal in scoring with Ayonayon putting in 12 followed by Mangahas with 10 as they bowed out with a 3-7 win-loss card.
Either way, CEU will play Batangas in the quarterfinals with the only issue left unsettled is who would hold the twice to beat advantage. Batangas must win over Flying V in order to seize the incentive otherwise it will be the Scorpions who will enjoy the advantage.
How They Scored:
CENTRO ESCOLAR (88) – Ebondo 22, Wamar 12, Aquino 12, Casino 11, Guinitaran 9, Jeruta 8, Uri 6, Cruz 4, Manlangit 2, Arim 2, Intic 0, Baconcon 0.
RACAL MOTORS (77) – Ayonayon 12, Mangahas 10, Cortes 9, Cabrera 9, Apreku 9, Ortuoste 8, Pontejos 6, Tallo 5, Capacio 4, Lozada 3, Faundo 2, Grimaldo 0, Gomez 0.
Period Scores: 21-23, 41-44, 63-58, 88-77.