MANILA, Philippines – Despite missing 3 key players, Go for Gold-St. Benilde blasted Centro Escolar University, 75-60, in the 2018 PBA D-League Foundation Cup at the Ynares Arena on Monday, July 16.
The Scratchers – playing without Ron Dennison, James Martinez and Gab Banal – sapped strength from Rey Publico, who finished with 18 points and 11 rebounds, in a game that saw them pull away after a close first half.
With the Scratchers down 38-43, Paul Desidero and Jai Reyes combined for an 11-0 run midway through the third for a 49-43 lead they never relinquished.
Desiderio, who scored 17, sank his charities with 31 ticks left for good measure.
“One of our biggest weaknesses I felt was rebounding, and he (Publico) gives us [just that]. He’s an energy guy. Kita naman ‘yung effort niya (You can see it in his effort) on both ends of the floor,” Go for Gold head coach Charles Tiu said of Publico’s effort.
Matt Salem buried 3 triples en route to 16 points and 7 boards in the win while Reyes and Kris Porter added 8 markers apiece.
Dennison and Martinez are out with a hamstring injury and a muscle strain, respectively, while Banal is dealing with personal matters in Australia.
Rich Guinitaran topscored for the Scorpions with 16 points and 5 rebounds while Keanu Caballero chalked up 11 points with 8 assists, 7 rebounds at 3 steals.
CEU started the game strong with a 7-0 run until a 14-2 response from the Scratchers forced Caballero to score the Scorpions’ next 10 points to put them up, 19-14.
The match remained a nip-and-tuck affair until Go for Gold outscored CEU, 41-23, in the last two quarters.
Go for Gold-CSB (75): Publico 18, Desiderio 17, Salem 16, Reyes 8, Porter 8, Pili 5, Castor 3
CEU (60): Guinitaran 16, Ke. Caballero 11, Oloume 9, Rojas 9, Fuentes 6, Chan 4, Formento 3, Ko. Caballero 2
Quarter Scores: 22-19, 34-37, 54-47, 70-65
– Franco Luna/Rappler.com
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