D-League: CEU clinches playoff seat
Centro Escolar University lost hold of a 16-point lead, but recovered just in time to slip past Perpetual, 90-85, and secure the first playoff spot in the 2018 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup Tuesday at JCSGO Gym in Cubao.
The Scorpions came up big in the end game after the Altas gobbled up what was once an 16-point lead with 7:47 remaining and brought it down to 85-83 lead with 1:52 left courtesy of a 21-3 run.
Orlan Wamar and Rod Ebondo grabbed crucial rebounds in the final minute before Keanu Caballero swiped the ball off Edgar Charcos to deny the upset.
“Credit to my players because even though we had a lot of lapses, they focused on defense in the end game,” said coach Yong Garcia.
Rich Guinitaran sizzled with 27 points, including 18 in the second quarter to help CEU take control of the game at halftime, 49-39, on 11-of-15 shooting from the field.
Ebondo added 22 markers and 12 rebounds, while Joseph Manlangit had nine of his 16 points in the payoff period, while also hauling down seven boards.
The Scorpions continued to rampage through the competition with their fourth straight win to stay on top of the standings at 7-1.
Perpetual, meanwhile, fell to its third consecutive defeat for a 2-5 card.
Prince Eze led the Altas with 23 points, 17 rebounds, and four blocks, while Charcos fired 13 of his 22 markers in the fourth quarter uprising, as he also collected nine assists and five boards.
CEU 90 — Guinitaran 27, Ebondo 22, Manlangit 16, Fuentes 6, Aquino 5, Wamar 5, Cruz 4, Arim 3, Caballero 2, Opiso 0, Uri 0, Veron 0.
PERPETUAL 85 — Eze 23, Charcos 22, Aurin 14, Villanueva 9, Pido 5, Coronel 4, Mangalino 4, Peralta 4, Pascia 0, Tamayo 0.
Quarters: 23-19, 49-39, 72-60, 90-85.