MANILA, Philippines – Gab Banal and Jai Reyes took charge as Go for Gold outclassed Marinerong Pilipino, 93-88, to stay unbeaten in 4 games in the PBA D-League Foundation Cup on Thursday, June 21, at the Ynares Sports Arena.
Banal sustained his strong showing to finish with 24 points on a 4-of-6 shooting from deep on top of 5 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 steals.
Reyes ,who teamed up with Banal in the final stretch, also hit two attempts at the charity stripe with 8 seconds left to help seal the match.
The former Ateneo guard sizzled from beyond the arc, hitting 4-of-7 attempts en route to 21 points.
“Gab Banal’s been playing great. He’s been our best player this whole conference, [and] I hope one day he’ll be able to make it back to the PBA,” said Go for Gold head coach Charles Tiu.
Despite trailing for most of the game, the Skippers had their chances as they clawed their way back from a 13-point deficit to tie the game at 75 in the final frame.
Trailing at 88-91 in the dwindling seconds, the Skippers still had a shot but a costly turnover from Robbie Manalang with 10 seconds left sealed their fate.
“I was really worried about this game. Marinero’s a very solid team,” said Tiu. “We were up by double digits, and we kind of let up towards the end. I’m not happy with how we closed. Maybe we got overconfident, and you can’t let that happen.”
Trevis Jackson was one of the few bright spots as he sparked the Skippers’ multiple comeback attempts on the way to finishing 34 points.
Franky Johnson also poured in 17 points, 8 rebounds and 4 steals for the Skippers.
Che’lu-SSC improves to 3-1
Earlier, Che’lu Bar and Gril-SSC Revellers dominated the Batangas-EAC Generals, 78-57, to improve to a 3-1 record.
Chris Bitoon fueled a 28-14 run capped by 4 straight triples that gave the Revellers an imposing 60-44 lead by the end of the 3rd quarter.
Bitoon finished with 19 points on a 70% field goal shooting.
Che’lu head coach Stevenson Tiu said the team has been putting premium on team work. “In any kind of game, chemistry is still important,” he said.
The Revellers got off to a slow start but turned the game around in the 2nd quarter where they staged a 17-7 run to wrest the lead at the break, 32-20, then continued to pour it on in the second half.
Che’Lu Bar & Grill-San Sebastian (78) – Bitoon 19, Viernes 9, Taganas 9, Siruma 9, Lao 8, Melano 8, Collado 7, Sta. Ana 6, Ochea 3
Batangas-EAC (57) – Mendoza 13, Derige 12, Manalo 12, De Joya 10, Tabi 4, Dela Pena 4, Harris 2
Quarter Scores: 15-23, 32-30, 60-44, 78-57.
Go for Gold-CSB (93) – Banal 24, Reyes 21, Desiderio 11, Gaco 11, Tolentino 6, Dennison 5, Salem 4, Martinez 4, Porter 4, Pili 3
Marinerong Pilipino (88) – Jackson 34, Johnson 17, Manalang 8, Napoles 7, Prado 6, Tratter 5, Thiele 4, Ndiaye 3, Gomez de Liano 2, Santos 2
Quarter Scores: 20-12, 41-32, 70-57, 93-88.
– Franco Luna/Rappler.com
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