The Marinerong Pilipino Skippers dispatched the University of Perpetual Help DALTA Altas, 78-66, for their seventh straight victory, Tuesday afternoon at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
Alvin Pasaol unleashed 15 points, eight rebounds, and two assists, while Gab Banal registered 15 markers, five boards, and four dimes to lead the Skippers.
Also contributing in the win were Billy Robles, who dropped 10 points and five rebounds off the bench, and Vince Tolentino, who tallied 10 markers, three boards, and three assists.
The conquest secured Marinerong Pilipino at least a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals, and kept them in step with pacesetters CEU Scorpions and Akari-Adamson Soaring Falcons for the chance to earn the outright semifinals berth.
Coach Koy Banal, however, prefers to keep his focus on the task at hand rather than dwell on the playoff positioning this late in the eliminations.
“Di na namin tinitingnan kung sino yung one and two. If that happens na makuha namin yung outright semis, we’ll be thankful. But if not, we’ll still have the twice-to-beat,” he said.
The Skippers turned the tide on their side with a 13-2 tear in the third quarter to take a 53-43 advantage late in the frame before holding off the Altas late.
“We just talked to the players and reminded them na Perpetual is not gonna lie down and give us the win. We need to work hard here and that’s what we’re preaching to the players, to play consistent basketball,” said Banal.
Prince Eze powered Perpetual (3-7) with 16 points, 16 rebounds, and five blocks.
Rey Anthony Peralta chimed in 16 markers and two boards, while Edgar Charcos got 14 points, six assists, and five rebounds for the Altas.
Marinerong Pilipino 78 — Banal 15, Pasaol 15, Robles 10, Tolentino 10, Ayonayon 5, Toth 5, Babilonia 4, Eboña 4, Iñigo 3, Terso 3, Lopez 2, Tratter 2.
UPHSD 66 — Eze 16, Peralta 16, Charcos 14, Aurin 11, Coronel 9, Mangalino 0, Pido 0, Precillas 0, Tamayo 0, Tiburcio 0, Villanueva 0.
Quarterscores: 21-20, 35-33, 55-47, 78-66.