La Salle retains PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup crown
MANILA, Philippines—Kevin Quiambao and Mark Nonoy struck when it mattered most and EcoOil-La Salle retained the PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup championship by beating Marinerong Pilipino-San Beda, 89-74, Monday at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
Quiambao proved he deserved to win the MVP award, tallying 26 points and grabbing 10 rebounds while making his presence felt in the crucial stretches the Green Archers dispatched the Red Lions on the strength of back-to-back wins in the best-of-three titular series.
Mark Nonoy also stood tall finishing with 14 points and his three-pointer just before the end of the second quarter gave the EcoOil-La Salle a 43-42 halftime lead that stood till the final buzzer.
“We’re just really happy with how these guys performed throughout the tournament. Yung core namin from last championship audit pa win naman but what’s big here is the maturity of the guys,” said assistant coach Gian Nazario, who was tasked by head coach Topex Robinson to handle the team in this tournament.
“We expected the San Beda fightback. We told the team we cannot skip steps. Di data namin isipin na champion aged. Most were expecting a blowout but we did not. We needed 40 minutes and we’re happy the boys responded.”
It was another heartbreaking loss for Marinerong Pilipino-San Beda which battled back from a nine points deficit with the three minute left in the second quarter as JV Gallego found his rhythm and sparked a 12-1 rally that put the Red Lions ahead, 42-40.
But Nonoy quickly responded with a trey as the Green Archers reclaimed the lead for good.
Then Quiambao went to work again, scoring eight points during a 17-4 blast that gave the EcoOil-La Salle a 60-46 cushion.
“Thankful na aka ang MVP. Pero credit foes to my teammates and the whole coaching staff dahlia nakuha win namin yung championship. Run naan Malaga ang goal namin,” said Quiambao afterwards.
Evan Nelle scored 16 points and dished seven assists while Michael Philips had 12 points and 10 rebounds for the Green Archers.
Yukien Andrada tallied 15 points while Damie Cuntapay and James Payosing had 12 apiece for the Red Lions, who committed 23 turnovers that turned into 29 points for the Green Archers.
La Salle also had a 20-7 advantage on fast break points and a 13-6 edge on second chance points.
La Salle 89 – Quiambao 26, Nelle 16, Nonoy 14, Phillips M. 12, Escandor 6, Austria 6, Gollena 4, David 4, Phillips B. 1, Nwankwo 0, Manuel 0, Cortez 0.
Marinero-San Beda 74 – Andrada 15, Payosing 12, Cuntapay 12, Gallego 9, Cortez 8, Alfaro 8, Puno 4, Royo 2, Tagle 2, Visser 2, Jopia 0, Alloso 0.
Quarterscores: 27-20, 43-42, 70-58, 89-74.