Miracle continues for Marinerong Pilipino who force playoff for semis
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Aug 03, 2017 07:42 PM
MAKE YOUR OWN MIRACLE.
Marinerong Pilipino’s sail continued to fly high as it weathered Tanduay, 74-72, Thursday at the Ynares Arena in Pasig to force a do-or-die game in their 2017 PBA D-League Foundation Cup quarterfinals series.
Despite a rough sequence in the final minute which saw both teams trade mistakes, it was the Skippers who prevailed in the end as they forced Paul Varilla to commit a costly turnover on the inbounds play with 5.3 seconds left.
The window was still left wide open in the ensuing possession after Renzo Subido missed his two free throws, but Achie Iñigo secured the offensive board to ice the win for Marinerong Pilipino.
“We knew we’ve been in this situation before. There were three games na naipanalo namin on the defensive end and they were able to believe it and we were able to make a stop,” head coach Koy Banal said.
New recruit Robbie Herndon lived up to the hype and tallied 16 points and 10 rebounds in his first game for his new squad. In the elimination round, he starred for Wangs.
JR Alabanza had 13 markers and eight boards while John Lopez added eight points and five rebounds, including the game-saving block, on Varilla with 8.3 ticks to spare.
“That’s what we believe in, that miracles still happen. Our goal is just to make it to the semis and we’ll figure it out when we get there. The boys just gave it all,” Banal said.
Game 2 is slated on Tuesday, 4:00 PM with the victor advancing to the best-of-three semifinals against two-seed Cignal HD.
Jerwin Gaco led the Rhum Masters with 14 points, five rebounds, and two assists, James Martinez scattered 13 markers, and Lester Alvarez had 12 points, four boards, and two dimes in the defeat.
In the first game, Centro Escolar University earned its ticket to the semifinals as it escaped Batangas in a hardfought 81-74 win.
The Scorpions almost suffered a huge meltdown as they saw their 14-point lead, 67-53, with 8:49 left dwindle to as low as three, 77-74, after a Cedrick Ablaza putback with 1:33 remaining.
The Batangueños threatened to tie the game, but Robby Celiz botched his trey in the final minute and Cedric de Joya got the ball stolen by Orlan Wamar, leading to JK Casiño icing the game at the charity stripe with 14.3 seconds left.
“Sobrang proud ako sa kanila dahil talagang naka-focus sila sa game na ito. Even na medyo may tendency na mag-relax, at least nakabawi kami” a triumphant head coach Yong Garcia expressed.
“Walang nag-expect na nandito kami sa semifinals ngayon, but it's all a collective effort. Dahil sa trabaho nila kaya andito kami ngayon,” he continued.
JK Casiño led fourth-seed CEU to victory with 18 points and five rebounds, Congolese big man Rod Ebondo tallied 15 markers, 19 boards, and two blocks, and Mark Neil Cruz added 15 points and nine rebounds in the win.
The Scorpions will now move on to the Final Four against unbeaten top-seed Flying V as they are set to do battle in a best-of-three series.
Celiz carried Batangas with 18 points, eight rebounds, and three assists while De Joya unfurled 17 markers in the sorry loss.
CEU 81 - Casiño 18, Cruz 15, Ebondo 15, Jeruta 13, Aquino 8, Arim 5, Wamar 5, Manlangit 2, Guinitaran 0, Intic 0, Uri 0.
BATANGAS 74 - Celiz 18, De Joya 16, Ablaza 15, Bautista 7, Gabayni 7, Dela Peña 3, Isit 3, Saitanan 3, Laude 2, Anderson 0, Bulawan 0, Mendoza 0, Ragasa 0, Sorela 0.
QUARTER SCORES: 28-18, 43-34, 61-50, 81-74.
MARINERONG PILIPINO 74 - Herndon 16, Alabanza 13, Lopez 8, Iñigo 7, Subido 7, Isip 6, Sargent 6, Gabriel 4, Javelona 4, Marata 3, Javillonar 0.
TANDUAY 72 - Gaco 14, Martinez 13, Alvarez 12, Palma 7, Eguilos 5, Sollano 5, Varilla 5, Santos 4, Tambeling 3, Taganas 2, Villamor 2, Vigil 0.
QUARTER SCORES: 15-19, 34-36, 56-55, 74-72.