ECOOIL-La Salle zoomed past Adalem Construction-St. Clare late to take the handy 89-74 victory in the 2022 PBA D-League Aspirants' Cup semifinals Friday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Debuting Schonny Winston poured 24 points, four assists, three rebounds, and three assists to power the Green Archers in Game One of the best-of-three duel and move a win away from advancing to the championship series.
CJ Austria was also crucial for EcoOil-La Salle's 11-2 fourth quarter pullaway that gave the Archers a 71-55 cushion. He scored eight of his 15 points in that stretch, on top of his seven boards.
Kevin Quiambao commandeered the team's defense en route to his 18 points, six rebounds, four blocks, and three dimes off the bench while Mark Nonoy had 15 points on 3-of-5 shooting from deep.
"We tightened up on defense," said coach Derick Pumaren, as his side broke off from a 52-all deadlock and finished the third quarter on an 8-1 blast.
"We were making St. Clare get back in the game because we kept on making mistakes offensively and defensively. I told the boys we must be able to contain yung effort stats nila and I think when we were able to do that, we were able to take control of the game."
John Rojas led the Saints with 19 points, while Johnsherick Estrada had 14 points, seven rebounds, and four assists in the defeat.
ECOOIL-LA SALLE 89 -- Winston 24, Quiambao 18, Austria 15, Nonoy 15, Nelle 4, Nwankwo 4, B. Phillips 4, Cortez 3, M. Phillips 2, Escandor 0, Blanco 0, Buensalida 0, Estacio 0.
ADALEM-ST. CLARE 74 -- Rojas 19, Estrada 14, Manacho 8, Gamboa 7, Tapenio 6, Estacio 5, Ndong 4, Sablan 3, Sumagaysay 3, Galang 3, Fontanilla 2, Lopez 0, Decano 0.
Quarters: 18-23, 41-36, 60-53, 89-74.