Marinerong Pilipino weathers furious fightback from Zark’s-LPU

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Jan 18, 2018 06:09 PM
Marinerong Pilipino weathers furious fightback from Zark’s
Marinerong Pilipino, with a good mix of veterans and collegiate stars, got the better of a Zark's team backed by NCAA powerhouse LPU

Marinerong Pilipino made full use of the big stage to show why they are considered one of the top teams in the 2018 PBA D-League Aspirants Cup.

Starting strong before finishing even stronger, the Skippers fended off fighting Zark’s-Lyceum of the Philippines University for a well-earned 94-92 win on Thursday at the Filoil Flying V Centre.

Renzo Subido topped the scoring column with 20 points and the rest of the boys of head coach Koy Banal flexed their muscle at both ends to take down the Jawbreakers made up of the team that got off to an 18-0 start in last year’s NCAA.

With top picks Kyle Toth and Alvin Pasaol barely even playing, Marinerong Pilipino still mounted an advantage of as much as 17 in the third quarter.

Of course, LPU-backed Zark’s wasn’t going away that easy and NCAA MVP CJ Perez fronted their rally to as close as 85-87 inside the last two minutes.

After another defensive stop, the Jawbreakers had a golden opportunity to tie the tally or even take the lead, but both Mike Nzeusseu and Perez’s muffed on their triple tries.

The NCAA runner-up still kept coming until the final buzzer, but the Skippers also had all the answers and held on for a convincing victory to start the season.

Rian Ayonayon had 15 points while Gab Banal, Koy’s nephew, did it all with 14 points, 14 rebounds, six assists, and four steals.

That means they didn’t even need much from first round pick Toth who was scoreless in nine minutes as well as second round selection Pasaol who only had four markers in six minutes.

Last year, Banal and his boys were the darlings of the tournament, going on a so-called miraculous winning streak all the way to the semifinals.

Now with a deeper lineup, they are considered one of the top teams along with Zark’s, Akari with a core of Adamson University, and league stalwart Centro Escolar University.

The Jawbreakers will now need to bounce back even after the strong showings of Jaycee Marcelino who scored 20 points and CJ Perez who had 19 markers of his own.

BOX SCORES

MARINERONG PILIPINO 94 – Subido 20, Ayonayon 15, Paredes 14, Banal 14, Robles 10, Tolentino 4, Tratter 4, Pasaol 4, Terso 3, Lopez 2, Inigo 2, Babilonia 2, Toth 0

ZARK’S-LYCEUM 92 – Marcelino JC 20, Perez 19, Nzeusseu 18, Ayaay 11, Ibanez 6, Marcelino JV 6, Cinco 5, Tansingco 3, Santos 2, Pretta 2, Marata 0, Liwag 0

QUARTER SCORES: 17-19, 47-34, 69-58, 94-92

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