PBA D-League

La Salle routs Marinerong Pilipino, claims D-League Aspirants’ Cup title

JR Isaga
La Salle routs Marinerong Pilipino, claims D-League Aspirants’ Cup title

BIG MIKE. Michael Phillips dominates for La Salle at the 2022 PBA D-League Aspirants' Cup finals.

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EcoOil-La Salle starts strong and never looks back in its finals Game 3 blowout of Marinerong Pilipino to cap off the 2022 PBA D-League Aspirants' Cup

MANILA, Philippines – The EcoOil-La Salle Green Archers completed their dominant conquest of the 2022 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup with a 91-78 finals Game 3 blowout of the Marinerong Pilipino Skippers at the Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday, August 31.

Schonny Winston led the balanced attack with 16 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists while D-League MVP runner-up Michael Phillips excelled with a huge 15-point, 16-rebound double-double to go with 3 assists and 3 steals.

Spark plug Mark Nonoy, after missing out most of the preseason, saved his best game for last with a 15-point eruption in just under 13 minutes, while all-around forward Kevin Quiambao scattered 6 points, 8 boards, and 7 assists with just 1 turnover.

Playing with renewed energy after a much-needed one-week break, the Archers shot out of warmups with a tone-setting 21-9 start with 3:19 left, and practically never looked back.

Things went from bad to worse for the limping Skippers as star guard Jollo Go was tossed from the game with 8:53 left in the third after visibly punching La Salle big man Ben Phillips down low. He finished with just 2 points and 3 turnovers in 12 minutes.

Without his running mate for the rest of the game, conference MVP Juan Gomez de Liaño sparked a 13-5 start in the final frame to get back within single digits, 70-79, off an Adrian Nocum layup.

However, that was as near as the Skippers could get after CJ Austria snapped a 0-of-7 start with a huge dagger triple at the 3:53 mark for the 82-70 separation, and followed it up with an and-one finish, 85-72, with 2:35 left.

“As I told the boys, this is part of the program, part of the process. If this is the last game, we have to bring our best game, our A-game in the D-League,” said Archers head coach Derick Pumaren.

“We came out hard, we really came out strong. We anticipated that [Marinero] will come out hard, but we were ready for that, and that’s why we took control of the ball game.”

Gomez de Liaño left everything on the floor with 30 points on 10-of-15 shooting with 6 rebounds and 3 assists, but also had 9 turnovers – including some crucial crunch time miscues.

Nocum bounced back with an 18-point, 7-board, 2-assist line after scoring just 2 in Game 2, while Arvin Gamboa scored 12 with 4 rebounds and 2 dimes.

After its D-League debut in 2020 was cut short by the pandemic, La Salle completed a triumphant return with its first title in the PBA’s developmental ranks, and now heads back to the UAAP once again as one of the top contenders for Season 85 in October.

Marinerong Pilipino, meanwhile, returns to the drawing board after dropping its second straight D-League title opportunity from up 1-0 in the best-of-three finals.

The Scores

EcoOil-La Salle 91 – Winston 16, M. Phillips 15, Nonoy 15, Nelle 13, Austria 8, Manuel 7, Quiambao 6, Nwankwo 6, B. Phillips 5, Macalalag 0.

Marinerong Pilipino 78 – Gomez de Liaño 30, Nocum 18, Gamboa 12, Soberano 7, Manlangit 5, Cariño 2, Go 2, Pido 2, Bonifacio 0, Bonsubre 0, Agustin 0.

Quarters: 25-19, 51-36, 74-57, 91-78.

– Rappler.com

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