PBA D-League

Mighty Marinerong Pilipino arranges D-League finals with loaded La Salle 

JR Isaga
Mighty Marinerong Pilipino arranges D-League finals with loaded La Salle 

SIZZLING. CJ Austria waxes hot for La Salle.

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CJ Austria, Michael Phillips, and Kevin Quiambao power EcoOil-La Salle to the D-League finals as Juan Gomez de Liaño also helps Marinerong Pilipino clinch the last title berth

MANILA, Philippines – Marinerong Pilipino and EcoOil-La Salle arranged a championship showdown in the 2022 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup after hurdling separate foes in their do-or-die semifinal duels at the Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday, August 17

Marinerong Pilipino endured a tough challenge from APEX Fuel-San Sebastian as the Skippers clinched the last finals berth with a 69-64 escape over the Stags in the winner-take-all Game 3.

Skippers star Juan Gomez de Liaño waxed hot in the clutch with consecutive three-pointers to turn a 58-60 deficit to a 64-60 lead with 2:28 left in regulation. 

The former Japan B. League import then closed the tight affair out with one last layup at the 52-second mark for the 66-62 lead, and finished with another stellar line of 23 points – 13 in the fourth – 8 rebounds, and 6 assists.

As Jollo Go struggled with just 11 points in 34 minutes, former San Beda stalwart AC Soberano stepped up with a crucial 14-point spark off the bench, while Mapua standout Warren Bonifacio scattered 7 points, 7 boards, 3 blocks, and 2 steals.

Rommel Calahat paced the end of San Sebastian’s surprise top-seed campaign with 19 points and 9 rebounds, while burly Jessie Sumoda tallied a 15-point, 11-board double-double.

Standing in the way of Marinerong Pilipino’s first-ever D-League title are the loaded EcoOil-La Salle Green Archers, who routed the Adalem Construction-St. Clare Saints, 97-74, in their own Game 3 duel.

Game 1 of the best-of-three finals is on Sunday, August 21, 12 pm, still at the Araneta Coliseum.

Champion coach Derick Pumaren rode the hot hand of young guard CJ Austria, who finished with a game-high 26 points on a stellar 11-of-16 clip.

Rising star forward Michael Phillips – despite going ice-cold on 6-of-19 shooting – made up for his offensive woes with a huge line of 14 points, 13 rebounds, 6 assists, 5 blocks, and 4 steals.

Kevin Quiambao also chipped in 16 points, 4 boards, 2 dimes, and 2 steals for the Green Archers. 

Over at the losing end, John Rojas led the way with 17 points, 5 dimes, and 4 boards, while veteran guard Joshua Fontanilla scored 16 with 8 rebounds, and 4 assists.

Jimboy Estrada, fresh off a Player of the Week citation, got checked to just 10 points on 3-of-13 shooting with 5 turnovers in the conference-ending loss.

The Scores

First Game

EcoOil-La Salle 97 — Austria 26, Quiambao 16, M. Phillips 14, Nelle 7, Winston 7, Escandor 7, Nwankwo 5, Buensalida 4, Estacio 3, Blanco 3, Cortez 3, B. Phillips 2, Manuel 0.

Adalem-St. Clare 74 — Rojas 17, Fontanilla 16, Sablan 12, Estrada 10, Ndong 8, Estacio 4, Sumagaysay 4, Galang 3, Lopez 0, Gamboa 0, Manacho 0.

Quarters: 22-20, 52-40, 78-54, 97-74.

Second Game

Marinerong Pilipino 69 — Gomez de Liano 23, Soberano 14, Go 11, Bonifacio 7, Carino 6, Nocum 4, Gamboa 3, Manlangit 1, Pido 0, Bonsubre 0, Agustin 0.

APEX Fuel-San Sebastian 64 — Calahat 19, Sumoda 15, Villapando 12, Desoyo 6, Felebrico 6, Altamirano 3, Escobido 3, Are 0, Yambing 0, Shanoda 0, Cosari 0, Una 0.

Quarters: 7-11, 25-26, 44-43, 69-64. 

Rappler.com

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