St. Clare grabs share of Aspirants Group lead; Diliman up
St. Clare College-Virtual Reality gained a share of the lead in the Aspirants Group after downing Family Mart-Enderun, 71-64, in the PBA D-League on Thursday at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
The Saints collected their fourth win in as many games and tied University of Santo Tomas at the top.
“The [unbeaten] record is just a bonus,” said St. Clare head coach Jinino Manansala in Filipino.
“Our goal is to make the top four, and from there, it will be all-out war,” he added. “That’s why we will prepare harder and will not relax.”
Irvin Palencia led St. Clare with 16 points with backcourt partner Joshua Fontanilla contributed 14 points and Ray Rubio chipping in 11.
The Saints pulled away in the fourth quarter by opening up with six unanswered points for a 59-47 lead with 7:06 remaining, and they would keep Enderun at bay the rest of the way.
Mark Gatdula flirted with a double-double with nine points and 10 rebounds in the loss that dropped the Titans to 0-3.
Earlier, Diliman College-Gerry’s Grill compounded SMDC-NU’s woes with an 82-70 victory for its second win.
The Blue Dragons fought back from a 12-point first half deficit as Joseph Brutas caught fire and nailed three straight treys with four minutes left to turn a 67-63 lead to a 76-64 advantage.
Beninese big man Kevin Gandjeto led Diliman-Gerry’s with 16 points and 13 rebounds in hiking its record to 2-2.
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