MANILA, Philippines – BRT Sumisip Basilan-St Clare hung on to beat Marinerong Pilipino, 63-60, to claim the 2019 PBA D-League Foundation Cup on Monday, October 14, at the Paco Arena in Manila.
Jhaps Bautista topscored with 18 points and 8 rebounds, including the pressure-packed free throw with 1.5 seconds remaining to seal the Saints' fate and claim their first title in the developmental ranks.
Leo Gabo also made his presence felt with 12 points, 7 assists, and 5 rebounds, including the go-ahead trey with 3:21 minutes left to give his side the 59-57 lead and set up the cardiac finish.
Alfred Batino chimed in 11 markers, 7 boards, and 3 dimes for BRT Sumisip Basilan-St Clare.
"'Di bumitaw ang mga bata even after we lost Game 1 by a big margin. 'Yun ang reward para sa amin," said coach Stevenson Tiu, who won his first PBA D-League title after failed attempts last season with Che'Lu Bar and Grill.
(My players didn't give up even if we lost Game 1 by a big margin. That's our reward.)
The Saints already took a 61-58 lead after Bautista's freebies with 1:26 minutes remaining, but Jhonard Clarito gave the Skippers hope as he inched them to within a point, 61-60, with 19.8 seconds to go.
Marinerong Pilipino seemed to be on its way for a comeback after Bautista turned the ball over on an inbounds play, but Santi Santillan missed his lay-up on the other end.
Joshua Fontanilla was able to collar the rebound with 12.4 seconds left, but could only settle for a split that kept the window open for the Skippers.
Unfortunately, Mark Yee's three-pointer did not hit its target, leading to Bautista's game-icing free throws late.
Yee led Marinerong Pilipino with 17 points and 14 rebounds in the stinging defeat.
Clarito had a double-double as well with 13 points and 15 rebounds.
BRT Sumisip Basilan-St Clare 63 - Bautista 18, Gabo 12, Batino 11, Pare 9, Fontanilla 5, Collado 2, Palencia 2, Dumapig 2, Hallare 2, Rubio 0.
Marinerong Pilipino 60 - Yee 17, Clarito 13, Santillan 7, Poligrates 6, Sara 5, McAloney 3, Ayonayon 2, Rios 2, Alabanza 0, Villarias 0, Mangahas 0.
Quarters: 12-12, 24-22, 44-48, 63-60.