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Skippers book semis spot

Marinerong Pilipino punched a semifinal ticket after trouncing Centro Escolar University (CEU), 75-66, in the quarterfinals of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) D-League yesterday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

In the second game, Builders Warehouse-UST forced a do-or-die game as it hammered a 98-93 victory over Adalem Construction-St. Clare.

Playmaker Kean Baclaan erupted for 35 points on three three-pointers, five assists and three boards to help the Growling Tigers get a chance to clinch the final semifinal spot should they upset the Saints in Game 2 on Wednesday.

Juan Gomez de Liaño and returning Jollo Go powered the Skippers’ attack to claim the third spot in the Final Four and set up a semifinal duel against top seed Apex Fuel-San Sebastian.

De Liaño had an all-around game of 17 points, seven rebounds, and eight assists, while Go finished with 17 markers and two boards in their win.

Arvin Gamboa added 13 points and eight rebounds and Adrian Nocum had a double-double game of 12 markers and 10 boards.

“We had problems when the players were not healthy but we are happy that we are now complete,” Skipper’s mentor Yong Garcia said.

“We did not expect the team to run like that, but what’s important is that we’re doing well.”

The in-form Skippers opened the floodgates early to gain a 37-29 lead at the half and took advantage of the CEU’s struggling shooting form.

The Scorpions waged an 8-0 spurt to come closer, 49-51, but Warren Bonifacio, Nocum and De Liaño went back roaring before Gamboa drilled a three to make it a 12-point game with 3:05 remaining.

Jhomel Ancheta delivered 12 points, three assists, and two steals in just 12 minutes of action, but the Scorpions still saw their D-League campaign come to an end.

The scores:

First game:
sports
Marinero (75) — De Liaño 17, Go 17, Gamboa 13, Nocum 12, Bonifacio 6, Hernandez 3, Soberano 3, Cariño 2, Pido 2, Garcia 0, Lacap 0, Bonsubre Jr. 0, Agustin 0, Manlangit 0, Razon 0.

CEU (66) — Diaz 9, Santos 10, Bernabe 0, Ferrer 2, Santiago 11, Cabotaje 0, Peñano 10, Ancheta 12, Reyes 0, Balogun 6, Tolentino 4, Enrile 0, Samaniego 0, Borromeo 2, Malicana 0.

Quarters: 19-13, 37-29, 48-41, 75-66.

Second game:

Builders Warehouse-UST (98) — Baclaan 35, Cabañero 25, Conception 18, Manalang 12, Mantua 4, Stevens 2, Santos 1, Pangilinan 1, Canoy 0, Manaytay 0, Herrera 0, Crisostomo 0, Escobido 0, Gesalem 0, Wilson 0.

Adalem Construction-St. Clare (93) — Fontanilla 23, Estrada 15, Sumagaysay 14, Rojas 13, Lopez 10, Estacio 8, Gamboa 5, Ndong 4, Manacho 1, Sablan 0, Tapenio 0, Galang 0, Victoriano 0, Acosta 0, Decano 0.

Quarters: 12-25, 39-43, 72-70, 98-93.

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