MANILA, Philippines – The Che’Lu Revellers downed a depleted Go For Gold side, 74-68, to improve to 8-2 and claim the top spot in the PBA D-League Foundation Cup at the Ynares Sports Arena on Thursday, July 26.
Levi Hernandez topscored for the Revellers with 23 points on a 9-of-17 shooting on top of 7 rebounds, while JJ Collado also chipped in 13 points and 9 rebounds.
The Scratchers played minus key cogs Paul Desiderio, James Martinez and Ron Dennison, who had prior commitments.
Those absences turned into an advantage for the Revellers as Che’Lu head coach Stevenson Tiu said his wards had trouble facing guard-heavy teams like Go For Gold due to their fast-paced play.
Earlier, the Marinerong Pilipino Skippers clinched the 3rd seed with an 81-72 victory over the Centro Escolar University Scorpions.
Tied at 67-all in the payoff period, Marinerong Pilipino uncorked a late 9-0 run punctuated by a Kimley Medina triple for a 76-67 lead with 3:30 left on the clock.
Coming into the final 2 minutes, the Skippers kept a 4-point lead, 76-72, before Travis Jackson’s 5 straight points saw the lead swell to 81-72 with 1:17 left in the game.
Robbie Manalang led Marinerong Pilipino with 21 points, 15 coming off triples.
Jackson tallied 18 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists, while Medina had 11 points and 5 rebounds. Abu Tratter also notched a double-double of 10 points and 12 boards, while Hans Thiele poured in 10 points and 6 rebounds.
“We just want to go to the playoffs on a high note, and [it’s a] good thing the players were able to step up especially on the defensive end,” said Skippers head coach Koy Banal.
Banal added that there is nothing for his team to improve on after their performance today.
“Sa ngayon, wala na ngang dapat i-improve eh. Unang una, nasa mental na yun. Siguro yung mindset na lang namin. We just have to be really, really focused coming [into] the playoffs.”
(Maybe now, there’s nothing more to improve. First and foremost, it’s just mental. Maybe it’s just our mindset that we need to work on.)
Marinerong Pilipino (81) – Manalang 21, Jackson 18, Medina 11, Tratter 10, Thiele 10, Napoles 6, Johnson 5
CEU (72) – Guinitaran 20, Wamar 13, Oloume 10, Chan 8, Formento 5, Uri 4, Ke. Caballero 4, Fuentes 4, Rojas 4
Quarter scores: 18-20, 41-38, 61-63, 81-72
Che’Lu (74) – Hernandez 23, Collado 13, Melano 9, Viernes 8, Siruma 8, Taganas 5, Flores 5, Ng 3, Mallari 0, Lao 0, Bitoon 0, Ochea 0, Sta. Ana 0, Ruaya 0
Go For Gold (68) – Salem 16, Tolentino 12, Reyes 10, Publico 10, Banal 5, Porter 5, Wong 4, Gaco 4, Castor 2, Pili 0.
Quarter scores: 13-16, 31-32, 56-50, 74-68
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