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MANILA, Philippines – Go for Gold-CSB opened its 2018 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup on a high note with a 75-68 triumph over the Gamboa Coffee Mix-St. Clare at the Pasig City Sports Center Monday, January 22.
Clement Leutcheu finished with 14 points and 7 rebounds for Go For Gold, which avoided collapse down the stretch after seeing its 9-point lead trimmed down to just 3, 68-71.
Fortunately, Jerwin Gaco put Go For Gold up 5 with a short stab, 73-68, while Aris Dionisio missed all of his 3 free throw attempts that would have cut Gamboa’s deficit to two points with only 55 seconds remaining.
A Trevis Jackson turnover and Gaco’s insurance free throws secured the win for Go For Gold.
Gaco finished with a double-double of 10 points, 13 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 blocks while Dino San Juan added 13 markers and 9 boards in the win.
Kent Salado was having a magnificent game for Go For Gold with 9 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals before getting taken out of the court for what is suspected as an MCL injury.
“I’m happy because we needed a test like this as a young team to learn how to come from behind against a good team in St. Clare. Hopefully, in future games we don’t end up in a hole like this because it was not an easy win,” said Go For Gold head coach Charles Tiu.
Gamboa led by as much as 10, 28-18, before Go For Gold closed the first half with a 12-5 blitz, 33-30.
Dionisio paced Gamboa with 19 points and 13 rebounds while Mohammed Pare chipped in 10 points and 16 rebounds in the loss.
Go For Gold 75: Leutcheu 14, Gaco 13, Gutang 10, Salado 9, Naboa 8, Salem 8, Alejandro 5, Dixon 3, Pili 2, San Juan 2, Domingo 1.
Gamboa Coffee Mix-St. Clare 68: Dionisio 19, Rubio 11, Pare 10, Ambuludto 8, Hallare 6, Rebugio 6, Jackson 4, Acuno 2, Bitoon 2, Alcober 0.
Quarter scores: 14-19, 30-33, 52-53, 75-68.