EcoOil-La Salle captured the 2022 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup crown with a masterful 91-78 Game 3 conquest over Marinerong Pilipino Wednesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Michael Phillips held the torch for the Green Archers with his double-double of 15 points, 16 rebounds, three assists, and three steals as they claimed their first championship in the developmental league.
“We got to want it and want it more and the boys showed it,” said coach Derick Pumaren, who finally ascended to the top of the ranks after a runner-up finish with Centro Escolar University in the 2019 Aspirants’ Cup.
Schonny Winston topscored for EcoOil-La Salle with 16 points, five boards, five assists, and three steals And the Archers started off hot with a 21-9 opener.
Mark Nonoy, who picked the right time to play his best game in the league, poured 15 points from three treys, and Evan Nelle got 13 points, five rebounds, and five dimes in the winner-take-all affair.
It wasn’t a walk in the park for the Green Archers, though. They squandered 21-point lead that was chopped to just nine points midway in the fourth period.
But CJ Austria scored eight of the team’s final 12 points to close the conference out.
“As I told the boys kanina, this is part of the program, this is part of the process. If we’re gonna bring our A-game, we got to bring it in today’s game,” said Pumaren.
Juan Gomez de Liano led Marinerong Pilipino in the bridesmaid finish with 30 points, six rebounds, and three assists as it once again fell short in the Finals.
Jollo Go failed to finish the game after he was ejected for a low blow on Ben Phillips at the 8:53 mark of the third period.
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 Liano 30, Nocum 18, Gamboa 12, Soberano 7, Manlangit 5, Carino 2, Go 2, Pido 2, Bonifacio 0, Bonsubre 0, Agustin 0.
Quarters: 25-19, 51-36, 74-57, 91-78.