Marinerong Pilipinos sail continued to fly high as it weathered Tanduay, 74-72, Thursday at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig and force a do-or-die game in their 2017 PBA D-League Foundation Cup quarter-finals series.
Despite the rough sequence in the final minute which saw both teams trade back mistakes, it was the Skippers who prevailed in the end as they forced Paul Varilla to commit a costly turnover on the inbounds play with 5.3 seconds left.
The window was left wide open in the ensuing possession after Renzo Subido missed his two free throws, but Achie Iñigo secured the offensive board to ice the win for Marine-rong Pilipino.
“We knew we’ve been in this situation before. There were three games na naipanalo namin on the defensive end, and they were able to believe it and we were able to make a stop,” said coach Koy Banal.
New recruit Robbie Herndon lived up to his hype as he tallied 16 points and 10 rebounds in his first game for his new squad.
JR Alabanza had 13 markers and eight boards, while John Lopez added eight points and five re-bounds, including the game-saving block on Varilla with 8.3 ticks to spare.
“That’s what we believe in, that miracles still happen. Our goal is just to make it to the semis and we’ll figure it out when we get there. The boys just gave it all,” said Banal.
Game 2 is slated on Tuesday, 4 p.m., with the victor advancing to the best-of-three semifinals against two-seed Cignal HD.
Jerwin Gaco led the Rhum Masters with 14 points, five rebounds, and two assists, James Marti-nez scattered 13 markers, and Lester Alvarez had 12 points, four boards, and two dimes in the defeat.
CEU 81 – Casiño 18, Cruz 15, Ebondo 15, Jeruta 13, Aquino 8, Arim 5, Wamar 5, Manlangit 2, Guinitaran 0, Intic 0, Uri 0.
BATANGAS 74 – Celiz 18, De Joya 16, Ablaza 15, Bautista 7, Gabayni 7, Dela Peña 3, Isit 3, Saitanan 3, Laude 2, Anderson 0, Bulawan 0, Mendoza 0, Ragasa 0, Sorela 0.
Quarters: 28-18, 43-34, 61-50, 81-74.
MARINERONG PILIPINO 74 – Herndon 16, Alabanza 13, Lopez 8, Iñigo 7, Subido 7, Isip 6, Sargent 6, Gabriel 4, Javelona 4, Marata 3, Javillonar 0.
TANDUAY 72 – Gaco 14, Martinez 13, Alvarez 12, Palma 7, Eguilos 5, Sollano 5, Varilla 5, Santos 4, Tambeling 3, Taganas 2, Villamor 2, Vigil 0.
Quarters: 15-19, 34-36, 56-55, 74-72.
(Yñares Sports Arena, Pasig;
Quarterfinals Game 2)
4 p.m. – Marinerong Pilipino vs Tanduay