By Jerome Lagunzad
(Ynares Sports Arena)
1 p.m. – Batangas vs Che’Lu Bar and Grill
3 p.m. – Go for Gold vs Marinerong Pilipino
Playing loose right from the get-go, Marinerong Pilipino dealt Batangas a sound 106-64 beating yesterday to put its 2018 PBA D-League Foundation Cup title campaign back on track at the Ynares Sports Arena Arena in Pasig City.
Rob Manalang waxed hot with 20 points, spiked by four triples, while fellow Fil-Am guard Trevis Jackson added 19 points, four rebounds and as many assists as the Skippers buckled down to work early on and never allowed the Generals to get any rhythm.
Not only did the lopsided victory enabled Marinerong Pilipino to bounce back from an 88-71 loss to Aspirants Cup bridesmaid finisher Che’Lu Bar and Grill last week and improve its mark to 2-1, it also primed the Skippers up for a riveting encounter with the pacesetting Go for Gold Scratchers on Thursday.
Diminutive guard Cedric De Joya emerged as the lone bright for Batangas with 19 points as his fellow Generals, including Clark Derige who exploded for 28 points in their 96-90 stunner over Centro Escolar University last week, groped for form throughout, leading to their second loss in three starts.
In the other match, CEU stopped its two-game bleeding at the expense of skidding AMA Online Education, 96-85.
Gunner Judel Fuentes, back in the fold after dealing with chicken pox, led all scorers with 25 points, 15 of them coming during their telling run in the second period to help the Scorpions pull away from the Titans and improve to an even 2-2 slate.
“We’re still not happy with the way we played defense,” said CEU interim coach Derrick Pumaren. “We got to play consistent basketball, especially on the defensive end. Their attitude should change because when we are up, they are starting to relax.”
Big man Andre Paras proved solid on his return with 21 points and 10 rebounds while Fil-Canadian Owen Graham tallied 16 points and 11 rebounds but they still could not prevent the Titans from absorbing their fourth straight match.