EcoOil-La Salle zoomed past Adalem Construction-St. Clare late to take a handy 89-74 victory in the 2022 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup semifinals Friday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Debuting Schonny Winston poured 24 points, four assists, three rebounds, and three assists to power the Green Archers in Game 1, a win away from advancing to the championship series.
CJ Austria was also crucial for EcoOil-La Salle’s 11-2 fourt-quarter pullaway that gave the Archers a 71-55 cushion. He scored eight of his 15 points in that stretch, on top of his seven boards.
Kevin Quiambao commandeered the team’s defense and finished with 18 points, six rebounds, four blocks, and three dimes off the bench, while Mark Nonoy had 15 points on 3-of-5 shooting from deep.
“We tightened up on defense,” said coach Derick Pumaren, as his side broke off from a 52-all deadlock and finished the third quarter on an 8-1 blast to take a 60-53 edge.
Riding on that momentum La Salle stretched the lead to its biggest at 21 points, 78-57, under the last five minutes.
“We were making St. Clare get back in the game because we kept on making mistakes offensively and defensively. I told the boys we must be able to contain yung effort stats nila and I think when we were able to do that, we were able to take control of the game.”
In the first game, Marinerong Pilipino also moved a win away from a return trip to the Finals by disposing off Apex Fuel-San Sebastian, 74-66 in the other semifinal series.
Juan Gomez de Liano ignited the Skippers’ early 21-8 assault that set the tone for the handy win.
Marinero led by as much as 17 points, 72-55.
The University of the Philippines playmaker led the way with 16 points, 10 rebounds, and seven assists as Marinerong Pilipino aims to make it back to the championship series after finishing as runner-up in the 2019 Foundation Cup.
Arvin Gamboa chimed in 15 points, five boards, two assists, and two blocks, Jollo Go scored 14, and Adrian Nocum nabbed 12 points and seven rebounds for the Skippers.
“We’re happy sa mga players kasi na-execute namin ng maayos ‘yung gameplan namin. Pero Game 1 pa lang ito and hopefully sa Game 2, maka-execute ulit kami,” said coach Yong Garcia as his side shot 43-percent from the field against the top-seed Golden Stags.
Marinerong Pilipino 74—Gomez de Liano 16, Gamboa 15, Go 14, Nocum 12, Soberano 7, Carino 6, Bonifacio 2, Manlangit 2, Garcia 0, Bonsubre 0, Pido 0.
Apex Fuel-San Sebastian 66—Altamirano 12, Villapando 11, Felebrico 11, Sumoda 8, Calahat 7, Desoyo 7, Escobido 4, Shanoda 4, Are 2, Suico 0, Yambing 0, Garcia 0.
Quarters: 21-8, 39-31, 59-46, 74-66.
EcoOil-La Salle 89—Winston 24, Quiambao 18, Austria 15, Nonoy 15, Nelle 4, Nwankwo 4, B. Phillips 4, Cortez 3, M. Phillips 2, Escandor 0, Blanco 0, Buensalida 0, Estacio 0.
Adalem-St. Clare 74Rojas 19, Estrada 14, Manacho 8, Gamboa 7, Tapenio 6, Estacio 5, Ndong 4, Sablan 3, Sumagaysay 3, Galang 3, Fontanilla 2, Lopez 0, Decano 0.
Quarters: 18-23, 41-36, 60-53, 89-74.