MANILA, Philippines – Centro Escolar University (CEU) moved closer towards securing a quarterfinals spot in the 2017 PBA D-League Foundation Cup after defeating Gamboa Coffee Mix, 100-96, on Monday at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
The Scorpions were playing without Congolese big man Rod Ebondo, who is recovering from a bout with pneumonia. Nevertheless, the locals stepped up for CEU as they secured their fifth win in eight games.
Rich Guinitaran led the way for CEU, knocking down six of his 10 attempts from beyond the arc for 24 points.
"Kinausap namin siya, at sinabi naming kailangan 'yung kumpyansa, sa kanya dapat mag-start," CEU coach Yong Garcia said of the sweet-shooting forward.
Orlan Wamar contributed 16 points on 4-of-7 shooting from three, on top of 11 assists and five rebounds. Art Aquino had 18 points, four boards, and three assists, while JK Casiño had 14 points, three rebounds, and two dimes.
The Scorpions got off to a slow start, trailing 17-30 after the first quarter before exploding for 38 points in the third quarter to seize an 83-66 edge heading into the final quarter.
Gamboa clawed their way back and even got to within three points, 92-95, only for Guinitaran to unleash the dagger three-pointer with 37.7 seconds left that restored order for CEU.
Playing coach Leo Avenido topscored for the Coffee Lovers with 28 points on a 9-of-16 shooting from downtown, while Mike Parala got a double-double of 17 markers and 11 boards.
Their efforts, though, went for naught as Gamboa dropped its seventh consecutive game and fell to a 1-7 slate.
CEU 100 - Guinitaran 24, Aquino 18, Wamar 16, Casiño 14, Cruz 10, Uri 8, Fuentes 6, Baconcon 2, Saber 2, Arim 0, Intic 0, Jeruta 0, Manlangit 0.
GAMBOA COFFEE MIX 96 - Avenido 28, Parala 17, Cawaling 13, Acuña 11, Padilla 11, Montuano 10, Vidal 3, Acibar 2, Knuttel 1, Arellano 0, Dadjilul 0.
Quarter scores: 17-30, 45-47, 83-66, 100-96
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