Skippers enter semis, Tigers stay alive

The Philippine Star
Skippers enter semis, Tigers stay alive
Marinero Skipper Juan Gomez de Liaño drives to the basket versus CEU Scorpion Lenard Santiago.

MANILA, Philippines — Marinerong Pilipino sailed into the semifinals while Builders Warehouse-Santo Tomas forged a rubber match versus Adalem-St. Clare in the PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup yesterday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Skippers, the No. 4 seed, booted out No. 5 Centro Escolar U, 75-66, thus arranging a Final Four duel with No. 1 seed Apex Fuel-San Sebastian.

The No. 6 Growling Tigers, on the other hand, staved off elimination with a 98-93 stunner that forged a do-or-die with third seed Adalem-St. Clare for a chance to meet No. 2 EcoOil-La Salle in the other semis pairing.

Juan Gomez de Liaño and Jollo Go sizzled with 17 points apiece for Marinero, which avenged its 84-77 defeat to the tough CEU team in their elimination-round duel.

Arvin Gamboa chipped in an all-around statsline of 13 points, eight rebounds, three assists and two steals to backstop the fearsome Marinero backcourt.

“Nagkaroon talaga kami ng problema noong hindi healthy yung players pero masaya kami na kumpleto kami. Ang importante, naipakita namin maganda ang itatakbo ng team,” said coach Yong Garcia.

Meanwhile, Kean Baclaan erupted for 35 points to lead Santo Tomas to its fourth straight win.

Nic Cabanero added 25 with Sherwin Concepcion turning in a double-double of 18 markers and 13 boards.

Paul Manalang also had 12 for the sixth-seeded Growling Tigers, whose impressive run so far included a big win over back-to-back NCAA champion Letran to catch the last playoff bus.


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