PBA D-League: Juan Gomez de Liaño, Marinero close in on finals berth

Marinerong Pilipino's Juan Gomez de Liaño. –

Marinerong Pilipino’s Juan Gomez de Liaño. –PBA IMAGES

MANILA, Philippines—A well-rested Marinerong Pilipino cruised past San Sebastian, 74-66, to gain a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three semifinals of the PBA D-League Aspirant’s Cup on Friday.

The Skippers’ one-week layoff after beating the Centro Escolar Scorpions, 75-66, paid off big in the team’s convincing win over the Stags.

“We had a whole week to prepare and I give props really to the coaching staff. They did a very good job in sending out the game plan and even the players followed and executed those plans so I have to give credit to the staff,” skipper Juan Gomez de Liaño said after the game at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Skippers’ fresh legs showed up right away as they dictated the pace with an early 9-0 run. The Stags were startled and could not come up with a response for the whole game, leading zero times.

In the early minutes of the fourth quarter, the Skippers’ lead ballooned to 17, 72-55, over the more-fatigued Stags who had a game two days ago in the Filoil EcoOil Preseason Cup.

De Liaño was three assists shy of a triple-double with 16 points, 10 rebounds and seven dimes. Arvin Gamboa, Jollo Go and Adrian Nocum also came up big for Marinerong Pilipino with 15, 14 and 12, respectively.

Camillus Altamirano finished with 12 points and five assists for San Sebastian. Tristan Felebrico and Kenneth Villapondo also tallied 11 markers.

Marinerong Pilipino can secure a berth the finals on Sunday, 12 p.m., at the same venue.