La Salle claims PBA D-League crown, routs Marinero in decider
MANILA, Philippines—A well-rested EcoOil-La Salle steamrolled Marinerong Pilipino, 91-78, to win the PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup title at Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday.
The Green Archers completed their comeback after dropping the finals opener. They evened the best-of-three series last week with a 70-63 win in Game 2.
“We came out hard, we came out strong. We anticipated all of this because we were ready for this,” La Salle head coach Derick Pumaren said after guiding the Green Archers to their first D-League title since joining the league in 2020.
WHEN ARROWS FLY… IT HITS THE ASPIRANTS’ CUP BULLSEYE.FEATURED STORIESSPORTS
Watch: The Green Archers receive the Aspirants’ Cup trophy with PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial. @INQUIRERSports https://t.co/3fnAGpXMXc pic.twitter.com/JuxoTed9Py
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Michael Phillips notched a double-double with 15 points and 16 rebounds for the Archers, who were led in scoring by DeSchon Winston’s 16. Mark Nonoy also added 15 points.
La Salle led 74-57 at the end of the third quarter before Marinero pulled to within nine twice-the last at 85-76 late in the game. But the Skippers couldn’t get any closer with Bright Nwankwo and CJ Austria sealing the championship for the Archers with 55 seconds remaining.
La Salle took control in the first half where it zoomed to a 51-36 advantage.
Aspirants’ Cup MVP Juan Gomez de Liaño finished with a game-high 30 points in a losing effort. Adrian Nocum scored 18 for the Skippers.
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