Fontanilla Joshua Fontanilla of Adalem Construction-St. Clare College takes a shot. PBA photo

Apex, St. Clare win

July 23, 2022 Theodore P. Jurado 672 views

APEX Fuel-San Sebastian dominated the second half to beat EcoOil-La Salle, 73-51, to gain a piece of second place in the PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Stags outscored the Green Archers, 40-24, in the last two periods to post their third win in four contests.

Tying idle Marinerong Pilipino in second spot, Apex Fuel-San Sebastian kept within distance of league-leading Wang’s Basketball @26-Letran, which is unbeaten in three starts.

Earlier, Adalem Construction-St. Clare escaped with an 87-86 win over Builders Warehouse-UST to raise its record to 3-2.

Ichie Altamirano had a solid all-around outing with 15 points, seven steals, six assists and five rebounds while Rommel Calahat added 13 points, seven boards and two assists for the Stags.

EcoOil-La Salle, which drew 11 points and eight rebounds from Mike Phillips, dropped in a tie with Centro Escolar University in fifth place at 2-2.

Apex Fuel-San Sebastian pulled away in the third quarter, erecting a 73-47 advantageon Altamirano’s three at the 3:26 mark.

“Surprising talaga, but I have to give credit to the boys kasi alam ko kung gaano kahirap yung ginagawa na depensa,” said Stags coach Egay Macaraya.

Johnsherick Estrada scattered 13 of his 21 points in the payoff period to go with eight rebounds and five assists in the Saints’ victory that sealed their place to the next round.

“Humanap kami ng go-to guy para ma-seal namin ng maayos yung game,” Adalem-St. Clare coach Jinino Manansala said of Estrada.

Joshua Fontanilla contributed 17 points and seven assists, while John Rojas got 16 points, three assists and two boards for the Saints, who now sit in solo fourth.

Trailing 65-76, the Growling Tigers stormed back and got to within one, 76-75, with 3:41 left to set up the frantic finish.

Estrada gained a split from the foul line to give Adalem-St. Clare a four-point buffer when Sherwin Concepcion drilled in a triple for Builders-UST to cut the deficit to 86-87 in the final three seconds.

The Growling Tigers tried to steal the win, but Concepcion missed a three-pointer as time expired.

The scores:

First game

Adalem-St. Clare (87) — Estrada 21, Fontanilla 17, Rojas 16, Ndong 8, Sablan 7, Estacio 6, Sumagaysay 5, Gamboa 4, Lopez 3, Tapenio 0, Manacho 0.
Builders-UST (86) — Concepcion 19, Santos 17, Baclaan 14, Pangilinan 11, Stevens 7, Manalang 5, Mantua 5, Cabañero 4, Wilson 4, Escobido 0, Crisostomo 0, Canoy 0, Herrera 0.
Quarterscores: 16-21, 34-40, 59-60, 87-86

Second game

Apex Fuel-SSC-R (73) — Altamirano 15, Calahat 13, Are 9, Escobido 9, Una 8, Villapando 5, Sumoda 5, Shanoda 5, Desoyo 2, Yambing 2, Felebrico 0.
EcoOil-DLSU (51) — M. Phillips 11, Macalalag 11, Cortez 6, Manuel 5, Austria 5, Nwankwo 5, Buensalida 4, Alao 3, Estacio 1, Escandor 0.
Quarterscores: 24-13, 33-27, 53-38, 73-51

Games Tuesday

(Ynares Sports Arena)
11 a.m. – Marinero vs AMA Online
1 p.m. – EcoOil-DLSU vs Wang’s-Letran
3 p.m. – CEU vs Apex Fuel-SSC-R