CENTRO Escolar University staved off Metropac-San Beda's late scare to come away with the 80-77 win in the 2019 PBA D-League on Monday at Paco Arena in Manila.
Judel Fuentes fired 20 points built on four triples and had the game-sealing steal on James Canlas as he went on and iced the game at the free throw line with 2.2 ticks left to help the Scorpions rise to 3-0 in the Foundation Group.
Senegalese bruiser Maodo Malick Diouf added a double-double of 17 points and 23 rebounds, to go with his four assists and two blocks, as Tyron Chan had 14 points and two boards in the win.
"I'm still proud with the way the boys played. At least, we can say that we're at par with them," said Pumaren. "I give it to the boys. We kept our poise in the end and made stops when we needed them."
CEU needed to survive a scare from Metropac-San Beda as the latter waged a rally from 30-points down, 65-35, and got to within one, 78-77 after Donald Tankoua scored down low in the final 16.1 seconds.
Window remained open for the Movers when Scorpions shooter Chan missed both of his free throws on the other end, but Canlas went on and force the issue on the other end that led to his side's demise.
AC Soberano's desperation three at the buzzer fell nowhere near the ring as CEU stunned the NCAA champion Metropac-San Beda.
"At halftime, I told the boys that even though we're up, San Beda is still a champion team. If there's one team capable of coming back, it's San Beda," said Pumaren after the Scorpions got hold of a 44-24 halftime lead.
The Movers suffered their first loss of the season to drop to 2-1.
Tankoua pumped 22 points and 14 rebounds, while Canlas had 21 for Metropac-San Beda.
CEU 80 -- Fuentes 20, Diouf 17, Chan 14, Ke. Caballero 9, Formento 9, Uri 5, Diaz 4, Lisbo 2, Rojas 0, Intic 0.
METROPAC-SAN BEDA 77 -- Tankoua 22, Canlas 21, Nelle 11, Doliguez 6, Soberano 5, Bahio 5, Oftana 4, Etrata 3, Obenza 0, Alfaro 0, Cuntapay 0, Abuda 0, Visser 0, Carino 0, Tagala 0.
Quarters: 20-16, 44-24, 70-52, 80-77.