May 06, 2024

EcoOil-La Salle rips undermanned CEU in Game 1

EcoOil-La Salle clobbered undermanned Centro Escolar University, 98-72, in Game 1 of their titular series and moved on the verge of wrapping up their third straight PBA D-League Aspirants' Cup championship on Monday at the Filoil EcoOil Centre in San Juan.

The Green Archers took advantage of the absence of CEU big man Abdul-Wahab Olusesi by racing to a 23-9 in the first quarter to set the tone of the one-sided matchup. Olusesi sat out the game with a sprained knee.

EcoOil-La Salle can get the job done in Game 2 on Thursday and become the second winningest team in the PBA D League.

NLEX holds the record for most championships with six, including four consecutive titles from 2011 to 2013.

"CEU was riding on a lot of momentum. Beating San Beda is such a huge achievement for their program so I told the players that CEU will be coming out with a lot of confidence with or without Olusesi," said La Salle assistant coach Gian Nazaro, who is calling the shots in the tournament.

Sponsored content:
"We have to be prepared against them and I think from the start, 'yun ang nagawa namin."

Henry Agunanne and Jonnel Policarpio showed the way for the Green Archers with 17 points apiece. JC Macalalag added 13 and three steals while Raven Cortez and EJ Gollena had 10 each.

Game 1 was practically a mismatch with La Salle pulling away early, 54-28, at halftime. They led by as many as 39 points, 89-50, midway through the payoff period.

Daniel Marcelo, Dave Bernabe and Gabrielle Dan Gamboa had 10 points apiece for CEU, which is hoping to have Olusesi back in Game 2 to force a rubber match.

Olusesi hurt his knee in CEU's 78-56 win against Marinerong Pilipino-San Beda in the deciding Game 3 of their semifinal series.(JBU)

Sponsored content:
The Scores:
EcoOil-La Salle 98 - Agunanne 17, Policarpio 17, Macalalag 13, Cortez 10, Gollena 10, Austria 6, Phillips 6, David 5, Alian 4, Abadam 3, Rubico 3, Gaspay 2, Buensalida 2, Marasigan 0, Romero 0.

CEU 72 - Marcelo 10, Bernabe 10, Gamboa 10, Darbin 8, Serrano 8, Santos 6, Malicana 6, Diaz 5, De Guzman 4, Guevarra 4, Benitez 1, Puray 0, Mendoza 0.

Quartescores: 23-9, 54-28, 79-45, 98-72.