Haruna tows Go for Gold past Batangas-EAC

ABS-CBN Sports on Mar 01, 2018 08:00 PM
Haruna tows Go for Gold past Batangas-EAC
Yankie Haruna turned in his best game ever since the injury that forced him to sit out of last NCAA season

Go for Gold got it all together late to turn back Batangas-Emilio Aguinaldo College, 106-95 to gain back-to-back wins in the 2018 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup on Thursday in Pasig's Ynares Arena.

Yankie Haruna recorded his best game to date, leading the Scratchers with 23 points, five rebounds, three assists, and three steals while ex-pro Jerwin Gaco unfurled a double-double to the tune of 21 markers and 10 boards as the two were major contributors in the team’s 60 bench points.

Justin Gutang registered 15 points, nine coming in the final frame and hauled down 10 rebounds while J-Jay Alejandro had 13 markers and five assists in the win.

Winners of back-to-back games, Go for Gold improved to 4-3 to join Zark’s Burger-Lyceum of the Philippines University at joint seventh place.

But coach Charles Tiu is far from satisfied especially with how he felt his wards performed against a cellar-dwelling squad like Batangas-EAC.

“We have a tendency to think that we're better than we really are,” he said. “We have never proven anything in the NCAA or D-League. It's disappointing in that sense, but we're happy with the win. We battled back despite Batangas controlling the game for the most part.”

Holding a 94-87 lead with 4:04 remaining, the Scratchers saw their lead dwindle down to three, 94-91, after back-to-back buckets from Cedric Ablaza and Earvin Mendoza with 2:47 left.

But Alejandro and Gutang saved the day for Go for Gold, canning big baskets in the end game to close the deal out for their crew.

Ablaza led his side with 21 points, 12 rebounds, and six assists while Cedric de Joya got 18 markers for Batangas-EAC, which fell to 1-6.

GO FOR GOLD 106 — Haruna 23, Gaco 21, Gutang 15, Alejandro 13, Leutcheu 8, Casiño 7, Dixon 7, Naboa 6, Salem 3, Domingo 2, Pasturan 1, Ocampo 0, Young 0.

BATANGAS-EAC 95 — Ablaza 21, De Joya 18, Maguliano 11, Altamirano 10, E. Mendoza 8, Garcia 7, Dela Peña 6, Diego 6, Bautista 4, Tampoc 4, J. Mendoza 0.

QUARTER SCORES: 22-22, 48-46, 75-75, 106-95.

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