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EcoOil, St.Clare secure playoff berths in D-L
RAVEN Cortez posted a double-double outing of 21 points and 12 rebounds as EcoOil-La Salle overwhelmed winless AMA Online, 92-49, to snare the remaining outright semifinals berth in the PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup at the Ynares Sports Arena.
Aaron Buensalida chipped in 12 points and seven boards, while Ben Phillips and Isaiah Blanco contributed 11 and 10 markers, respectively, as the Green Archers coasted to their fifth victory in seven matches.
The lopsided win also gave EcoOil-La Salle the No. 2 ranking in the playoffs, which will start on Friday.
“We wanted to be in the No. 2 spot so naka-importante nito sa amin kasi we go to the semis right away,” said assistant coach Gabby Velasco, who spoke in behalf of head mentor Derrick Pumaren.
Earlier, Builders Warehouse-UST bagged the remaining playoff slot with a 89-81 victory over Wang’s Basketball @26-Letran.
Adalem Construction-St. Clare, playing with a sense of urgency beat early semifinalist Apex Fuel-San Sebastian, 80-66, to secure the No. 3 ranking in the playoffs.
The Growling Tigers tied the Knights in sixth place at 3-4 but won the tiebreaker to advance to the next round.
After opening the conference with four consecutive losses, Builders Warehouse-UST finished strong in the eliminations with Sherwin Concepcion and Nic Cabañero leading the way.
“Hindi pa kami masyadong nakapag-prepare sa mga unang laro pero nag-trabaho lang kami. We believed in ourselves at ang mindset namin is bagong Tigers talaga,” said interim coach Albert Alocillo.
“Malaking motivation sa amin ito going into the playoffs.”
Concepcion fired four triples to finish with 17 points and grabbed 14 rebounds, Cabañero scored 16 points while Keanne Baclaan also had 16 points to go with six assists and six boards for Builders Warehouse-UST.
With their fourth win in seven matches, the Saints secured the twice-to-beat advantage against No. 6 Growling Tigers in the quarterfinals.
The other quarters pairing pits No. 4 Marinerong Pilipino and No. 5 Centro Escolar University.
“Simula pa lang alam ko na win or go home kami. Kung manalo kami, No. 3. Pero kung matalo, 99.9% na maa-out kami. Sabi ko lang sa mga bata, naglalaro sila nang maayos pero ‘di lang maka-finish nang maganda,” said Adalem-St. Clare coach Jinino Mansansala.
The Saints and the Skippers need only to win once to advance to the semis.
John Edcel Rojas led the way with 20 points, six rebounds, and four assists, while reigning NAASCU MVP Johnsherick Estrada came through with 19 points and seven rebounds for Adalem-St. Clare.
The Stags, who lost for the first time since July 9, finished the eliminations as the top-ranked team with a 5-2 record.
Romel Calahat and Jessie Sumoda had 19 and 14 points, respectively, for Apex Fuel-San Sebastian.
Mark Sangalang tallied 18 points, 14 boards, two blocks and two steals while Fran Yu added 17 points and three assists for Wang’s-Letran, which dropped its last four games.
The Kings ended the conference with a 0-7 record.
Adalem-St. Clare (80) — Rojas 20, Estrada 19, Fontanilla 14, Gamboa 8, Estacio 7, Sumagaysay 6, Ndong 2, Manacho 2, Lopez 2, Galang 0, Sablan 0.
Apex Fuel-SSC-R (66) — Calahat 19, Sumoda 14, Altamirano 7, Are 6, Yambing 5, Shanoda 4, Desoyo 4, Felebrico 4, Garcia 3, Escobido 0, Cosari 0, Paglinawan 0.
Quarterscore: 12-15, 36-35, 60-51, 80-66
Builders Warehouse-UST (89) – Concepcion 17, Cabañero 16, Baclaan 16, Manalang 10, Santos 10, Mantua 8, Pangilinan 6, Stevens 4, Manaytay 2, Herrera 0, Escobido 0, Wilson 0.
Wang’s-Letran (81) – Sangalang 18, Yu 17, Reyson 14, Guarino 11, Javillonar 8, Tolentino 5, Olivario 4, Ariar 4, Aviso 0, Go 0.
Quarterscores: 25-17, 45-41, 64-68, 89-81
EcoOil-DLSU (92) – Cortez 21, Buensalida 12, B. Phillips 11, Blanco 10, Austria 9, Escandor 6, Nwankwo 6, Estacio 5, M. Phillips 5, Macalalag 4, Alao 3.
AMA Online (49) – Yambao 18, Baclig 6, Villamor 6, Ceniza 6, Pineda 3, Malones 3, Cruz 2, Reeys 2, Gonzales 2, Kapunan 1, Cruz 0, Fuentes 0, Camay 0.
Quarterscores: 19-6, 46-19, 75-37, 92-49.