MANILA – Philippine Merchant Marine School grabbed a share of the Group B lead of the 19th National Athletic Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities (NAASCU) after brushing off the fierce rally of De La Salle Araneta University, 60-58, in continuing action Saturday from the Philippine Christian University Gym. Veteran center Wendel Attas hit the marginal free throw with five seconds left to give the Mariners their third straight win and tie idle Enderun Colleges at the top of the standings at 3-0.
PMMS actually led by as much as 13 with 6:07 after an Attas triple, 52-39. The Stallions then countered behind Jonas Briones, Henry Iloka and Kennete Balbuena to cut the gap to only a point at the 17-second mark after two Briones charities off an unsportsmanlike foul by Bryan Hilario, 58-59.
Sadly, the Stallions could not convert as possession remained with them. After a PMMS timeout, Julius Felix Lorenzo fouled Attas who missed the first but sealed the deal with the second attempt and dropped the Stallions to 1-2.
Hilario and Eugene Cabauatan paced the Mariners with 14 points each and a combined seven assists. Attas finished with 11 points and nine rebounds off the bench.
Iloka had another impressive individual effort of 23 points and 20 rebounds in 38 minutes. Briones followed with 12 points and six rebounds while point guard Gab Esteban had six points and four assists.
How They Scored:
P M M S (60) – Cabuatan 14, Hilario 14, Attas 11, Briones 8, Galicia 8, Sienes 3, Bautista 2, Inigo 0, Capalad 0, Palomares 0, Cabilin 0, Templo 0, Zalameda 0.
DE LA SALLE ARANETA (58) – Iloka 23, Briones 12, Esteban 6, Lorenzo 5, Aquino 5, Balbuena 3, Correche 2, Ombao 2, Batungbakal 0, de Vera 0, Pena 0.
Period Scores: 14-5, 29-22, 47-34, 60-58.