April 30, 2024

Marinerong Pilipino-San Beda sinks CEU in Game 2, forces sudden-death

Marinerong Pilipino-San Beda dragged Centro Escolar University to a sudden death by pulling off a gritty 84-76 revenge win in Game 2 of their 2024 PBA D-League Aspirants' Cup semifinals series on Tuesday at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.

The Red Lions nearly blew a 22-point lead but kept their poise in the face of tremendous pressure from the charging Scorpions to hold on to the win and keep their hopes of returning to the finals.

A 12-3 run capped by Richie Camilag's booming trey in the waning minutes sealed the win for San Beda but not after CEU stormed back in the fourth quarter and pulled within 66-68 on Franz Ray Diaz's trey.

San Beda lost its first two meetings against CEU - a 72-63 defeat in the classification round and 75-71 in Game 1 of their semifinal series.

The sudden death is set Thursday also at the Ynares Arena.

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The winner will face the winner of the other semifinal series between reigning champion EcoOil-La Salle and Go Torakku-St. Clare, which were still playing at press time. La Salle won the opener of that series.

"Sabi ko sa boys, one win lang. Let's just make us believe that we can beat them. I just challenged them to play better, harder and smarter," said San Beda coach Yuri Escueta.

"Playing in this kind of close games is a good challenge for us. These games test our composure and mental toughness. Gusto ko lahat sila maka-handle ng ganitong pressure."

San Beda played without NCAA Finals MVP James Payosing (sprain). In his absence Yukien Andrada stepped up with 14 points and five rebounds.

Emmanuel Tagle and Bryan Sajonia added 13 and 10 points, respectively.

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San Beda went up 60-38 early in the third quarter and was holding on to a 66-47 advantage midway through the period before CEU went on a 19-2 barrage to trim the gap to two points with still 6:31 to go.

But Jommel Puno drained five straight points while Richie Calimag hit jumpers one after another highlighted by that dagger trey that pierced through the heart of the Scorpions.

Diaz sizzled for 22 points while Daniel Marcelo fired 17 to lead the Scorpions. (JBU)

The Scores:

Marinerong Pilipino-San Beda 84 - Andrada 14, Tagle 13, Sajonia 10, Puno 9, Calimag Jr., 8, Estacio 8, Celzo 5, Royo 5, Calimag RC 4, Songcuya 4, Tagala 2, Gonzales 2, Jalbuena 0.

CEU 76 - Diaz 22, Marcelo 17, Olusesi 9, Bernabe 9, Puray 7, Santos 5, Gamboa 5, Serrano 2, Darbin 0, Malicana 0, Mendoza 0.

Quarterscores: 27-19, 58-38, 66-53, 84-76.