PASIG CITY – Marinerong Pilipino completed its titanic upset of Tanduay Rhum, 65-64, and barge into the semifinals of the 2017 PBA D-League Foundation Cup at the Ynares Sports Arena Tuesday (August 8). The sixth seed Skippers thus overcame their twice-to-beat disadvantage against the third seed Rhum Masters and arrange a date with second seed Cignal HD in the best-of-three series starting August 10 at the same venue.
Down by as much as 14 in the third period, 38-52, and ten at the start of the fourth period, 46-56, Marinero opened the final frame with a 12-0 run anchored on Renzo Subido to give them the lead for the first time since the opening period, 58-56. Tanduay would battle back though with six straight points from Jerwin Gaco for a one-point edge, 64-63.
Robert Herndon, who a year ago toiled as a reserve for the Rhum Masters, then gave the Skippers the upper hand for good with a basket at the 2:11 mark. Both teams then could not find the basket as defense took over.
Suddenly silent after a torrid first half, Lester Alvarez fired a long jumper that went out of bounds in favor of the Skippers with 29 ticks left. After a timeout, Achie Inigo drove hard to the basket only to miss but Herndon saved the day with a big offensive rebound and the Skippers passing the ball around until time expired.
Subido scored all of his 11 points in the fourth period to key the win. Herndon topped the Skippers with 13 points, 13 rebounds and two steals.
“My role is to give energy to the team and I get my energy from our fans,” said Subido after the game. For his part, winning coach Koy Banal could only credit the win as God’s work and he never doubted the team even when they fell behind by big margins late in the contest.
Gaco paced the Rhum Masters with 17 points. Alvarez led Tanduay in the first with nine points but was limited to the opening basket in the second half for a total of 11 points and three assists.
The Skippers stretched their winning run to seven games dating back to the elimination round. They enter the semifinals with a slight psychological advantage owing to their 66-65 squeaker over the Hawkeyes last June 8.
How They Scored:
MARINERONG PILIPINO (65) – Herndon 13, Subido 11, Lopez 10, Inigo 9, Isip 7, Sargent 6, Alabanza 4, Marata 3, Gabriel 2, Javelona 0, Javillonar 0.
TANDUAY RHUM (64) – Gaco 17, Alvarez 11, Taganas 9, Martinez 5, Tambeling 5, Palma 4, Eguilos 3, Santos 2, Varilla 2, Sanga 2, Sollano 2, Villamor 2.
Period Scores: 15-20, 31-39, 46-56, 65-64.