ST. CLARE College-Virtual Reality survived Batangas-EAC, 80-73, and gained a share of the top spot in the Aspirants Group on Monday in the 2019 PBA D-League Monday at Paco Arena in Manila.
It was the Saints' third straight win in as many games, tying University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers at the helm.
"Nireremind ko lang yung players ko every practice to just give their best. Lalabas yung pinaghirapan natin," said coach Jinino Manansala.
Junjie Hallare led St. Clare with 18 points and 15 rebounds. Irvin Palencia had 14 points, and Joshua Fontanilla tallied 14 markers, five assists and four steals.
The Saints allowed a 19-point advantage to dissipate in the face of a fiery fight back by the Generals, who pulled within five, 71-76, with 1:49 remaining.
But Hallare was there to the rescue, scoring four straight points to stretch St. Clare's lead to nine and sealed the win with 45.3 ticks left.
"Expected ko naman dahil itong mga batang 'to, 'pag lumalamang ng malaki, nagrerelax. Pero sabi ko lang sa kanila na 'wag tayong ma-rattle," said Manansala. "A win is a win."
Marvin Taywan had 18 points for Batangas-EAC, which absorbed its second straight loss and dropped to 1-3.
Earvin Mendoza and Chris Dela Pena had 16 and 14 points, respectively.
St. Clare 80 -- Hallare 18, Palencia 15, Fontanilla 14, Pare 9, Ambuludto 7, Lunor 5, Rivera 3, Fuentes 3, Santos 3, Rubio 2, De Leon 1.
Batangas-EAC 73 -- Taywan 18, E. Mendoza 16, Dela Pena 13, Maguliano 9, Robin 5, Martin 4, Derige 2, Corilla 2, Cadua 2, Carlos 2, Estacio 0, J. Mendoza 0, Oppong 0, Boffa 0, Amogues 0.
Quarters: 18-14, 34-27, 59-44, 80-73.