MANILA, Philippines – St Clare-Virtual Reality eliminated Metropac-San Beda from the running in the 2019 PBA D-League playoffs after a gritty 65-60 win at the Ynares Sports Arena on Tuesday, May 28.
Joshua Fontanilla led the balanced scoring effort with 12 points, 5 assists, 5 steals, and 3 rebounds, albeit with 7 turnovers on just 3/15 shooting.
Ray Rubio powered the Saints’ 2nd half breakout with 11 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 assists, while big man Mohamed Pare churned out a 10-point, 10-rebound double-double with 2 steals and 2 blocks.
“Ang sama ng laro namin, pero buti si Joshua nag-step up,” said coach Jinino Manansala. (We had a bad game, but it’s a good thing that Joshua stepped up.)
As with any game against San Beda, St Clare had to work harder on offense to get past the Red Lions’ feared defensive prowess.
However, Rubio negated that after scoring 7 straight points in the 3rd quarter, lifting his team to a 9-point lead, 45-36, with 2:16 left.
Still dealing with jet lag from their trip to a US training camp, San Beda still managed to inch within 2, 57-59, late in the 4th frame after a pair of Evan Nelle free-throws.
But Fontanilla shut their comeback hopes right down after scoring 6 straight points in the clutch, punctuated by a pair of freebies in the last 26 ticks for the 65-57 lead.
James Canlas led San Beda in the losing effort with 14 points, 5 steals, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists on a cold 6/15 clip. Veteran big man Donald Tankoua chipped in a 12-marker, 12-board double-double, but also shot terribly, connecting on just 4/14 shots from the field.
St Clare advances to the semifinal round and now gets extended rest after Go for Gold-CSB pushed twice-to-beat CEU to the ropes off an 84-81 thriller in the earlier game.
After leading by as many as 20 points, the Scorpions slowly clawed their way back into the 4th, ultimately tying the game at 79-all after a huge trey by Rich Guinitaran.
No team was able to get ahead after Roosevelt Adams and Maodo Diouf traded buckets at the 2-minute mark. However, off the Scratchers’ final timeout with 20 ticks remaining, new reinforcement Gab Banal drained a big three from the key to move ahead, 84-81.
Judel Fuentes, who had been hot all game long, tried to salvage their rally with a last-second three, but it clanked off as CSB held on in the end.
Adams was nearly unstoppable in this one, piling on 26 points, 13 rebounds, 2 steals, and 2 blocks on 11/18 shooting. Banal made the most of his debut, chipping in 12 points, 6 assists, and 5 boards, while fellow new addition Santi Santillan added 15 markers and 6 boards.
Go For Gold-CSB 84 – Adams 26, Santillan 15, Gutang 13, Banal 12, Leutcheu 8, Nayve 5, Pasturan 2, Dixon 2, Carlos 1, Naboa 0.
CEU 81 – Fuentes 22, Diouf 14, Guinitaran 13, Uri 9, Rojas 6, Caballero 4, Formento 4, Sunga 2, Lisbo 2, Chan 2, Santos 2, Diaz 1, Intic 0.
Quarters: 26-21, 50-35, 73-61, 84-81.
St Clare-Virtual Reality 65 – Fontanilla 12, Rubio 11, Pare 10, Hallare 9, Lunor 8, Ambuludto 7, Palencia 2, Santos 2, Rivera 2, Bolos 2.
Metropac-San Beda 60 – Canlas 14, Doliguez 13, Tankoua 12, Alfaro 7, Oftana 5, Penuela 3, Nelle 2, Soberano 2, Visser 2, Bahio 0, Etrata 0, Abuda 0, Cuntapay 0, Carino 0, Obenza 0.
Quarters: 10-10, 29-25, 51-38, 65-60.