The Zark’s-Lyceum Jawbreakers swept the Marinerong Pilipino Skippers, 102-89, and advanced to the 2018 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup Finals on Thursday at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
CJ Perez poured 23 points, six rebounds, five assists, and four steals to anchor the sixth-seeded Jawbreakers to the Finals, the lowest-ranked team to reach the championship round.
Mike Nzeusseu dropped 15 markers and nine boards, while MJ Ayaay uncorked 11 of his 13 points in the third quarter pullaway, where Zark’s-Lyceum erected a 16-point lead, 74-58, which ballooned to 18, 94-76, in the fourth period.
“I just reminded them to just play their game, enjoy this opportunity,” said coach Topex Robinson, as the Jawbreakers wiggled off from the Skippers after a tight first half.
“Parang ang daling mag-coach if you have players like this, na they really respond to every adversity na makaharap nila,” he added.
Spencer Pretta chimed in 12 points built on three triples, while twins Jaycee and Jayvee Marcelino teamed up for 18 markers, six rebounds, and five assists.
“Again, it’s just a blessing for us to be here. We’re so grateful that were given opportunity to play in the Finals,” said Robinson.
The victory for Zark’s-Lyceum sets up a Finals clash against the fourth-seeded Che’Lu-San Sebastian, where for the first time, neither of the top two teams at the end of the eliminations will figure for the hardware.
Rian Ayonayon paced Marinerong Pilipino with 31 points and nine rebounds, while Abu Tratter registered a double-double with his 13 markers and 10 rebounds in the exit.
Zark’s-Lyceum 102 — Perez 23, Nzeusseu 15, Ayaay 13, Pretta 12, Jc. Marcelino 10, Jv. Marcelino 8, Tansingco 8, Cinco 5, Baltazar 4, Caduyac 2, Serrano 2, Ibañez 0.
Marinerong Pilipino 89 — Ayonayon 31, Tratter 13, Pasaol 12, Toth 11, Banal 7, Tolentino 5, Terso 4, Iñigo 3, Babilonia 2, Robles 1, Miranda 0.
Quarterscores: 23-21, 45-45, 76-64, 102-89.