Marinerong Pilipino makes D-League semifinals
NIEL VICTOR MASOY
The Manila Times
MARINERONG Pilipino barged into the semifinal round even as Builders Warehouse UST forced a do-or-die battle against Adalem ConstructionSt. Clare in the PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup quarterfinals on Friday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. The Skippers took advantage of their win-once incentive and beat Centro Escolar University (CEU), 75-66, to make the semis. Builders Warehouse, on the other hand, defeated Adalem, 98-93, to send their quarterfinals matchup into a decider. Adalem owned a twice-to-beat incentive in the match-up. Juan Gomez de Liaño and Jollo Go led the way for Marinerong Pilipino as they carried the Skippers to the semis where they will face Apex Fuel-San Sebastian College. De Liaño finished with 17 points, eight assists, and seven rebounds, while Go nailed three treys en route to a 17-point output. Arvin Gamboa was also pivotal for the Skippers as he scored 13 points, including a triple with 3:03 left in regulation that gave Marinerong Pilipino a 68-56 lead. Adrian Nocum chipped in a double-double of 12 points and 10 boards, with six dimes for Marinero, as Lenard Santiago also dropped a double-double of 11 points and 11 rebounds to lead CEU. Meanwhile, Kean Baclaan exploded for 35 points on a 13-of-17 field goal shooting as UST stunned St. Clare. Baclaan also tallied five assists and three rebounds, while Sherwin Concepcion played superbly with 18 points and 13 boards. Nic Cabañero also came through with 25 markers, five steals and four caroms. Facing elimination, Baclaan and Cabañero saved Builders Warehouse from a total collapse after Adalem got within two, 90-92, following a Jolo Sumagaysay trey in the last 2:55 Baclaan setup Cabañero for an alley-oop play before he drained a booming triple to give UST a 97-90 cushion with 1:39 to spare. Joshua Fontanilla paced Adalem with 23 points, five assists and three steals.