Marinerong Pilipino holds off Zark’s rally
Banking on its experience, Marinerong Pilipino stamped its class over the retooled Zark’s Burger-Lyceum with a tight 94-92 victory in the 2018 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
The Skippers built a 17-point lead, 56-39, with 7:57 remaining in the third quarter but needed misses from Mike Nzeusseu and CJ Perez in the final minute and free throws from Rian Ayonayon in the final 25.6 seconds to post a safe 89-85 lead.
Renzo Subido paced Marinerong Pilipino with 20 points, five assists, and three rebounds, while Ayonayon scattered 15 points, three boards, and two assists.
Gab Banal also tallied a double-double of 14 points, 14 rebounds, six assists, and four steals—but committed 10 turnovers. Papot Paredes got 12 of his 14 points in the first half, where the Skippers established a comfortable lead.
Marinerong Pilipino staged a 12-0 finishing kick in the first half to erect a 47-35 halftime lead on the way to that 17-point third-quarter edge.
The Skippers’ depth was in full display in the game between the early favorites as coach Koy Banal had the luxury of fielding top rookie selections Alvin Pasaol and Abu Tratter late in the second half.
“They’re still feeling their way in the system, but the good thing is that they were able to deliver when called,” said Banal.