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Gab Banal torches Che’Lu as Go for Gold levels series


Gab Banal was near-unstoppable, leading the Go for Gold Scratchers to a 105-81 decimation of the Che’Lu Revellers to emphatically knot the 2018 PBA D-League Foundation Cup Finals to one game apiece Tuesday at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.

The do-it-all forward was on-target from deep, going on a 7-of-8 clip from threes to pour 33 points, as well as grabbing six rebounds and dishing out four assists.

Banal’s sweet-shooting set the pace for the Scratchers’ scorching hot three-point clip, much to the delight of coach Charles Tiu.

“That’s really the strength of this team. I wanted a team that shoots threes a lot, parang Houston Rockets and today, tumama yung tira namin,” he said.

That stupendous sniping gave his crew a big cushion, going as high as 26, 98-72 courtesy of a pair of freebies from Dan Wong with the game already beyond doubt.

Kris Porter chipped in 16 points and six rebounds, Ron Dennison contributed 12 points, three boards, and two dimes, and Paul Desiderio delivered 10 for Go for Gold.

Tiu put the spotlight on the team’s defense, as Go for Gold held the high-octane Che’Lu side to just 10 points in the third frame, where his side broke away, 73-58.

“We’re able to run and make some easy baskets, and it turned to easy points for us,” said the soft-spoken mentor.

Jason Melano paced Che’Lu with 17 points and three rebounds, while Jeff Viernes was limited to just 13 points, seven assists, and four boards in the loss.

Game 3 is on Thursday, still in the same venue.


The Scores:

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Go for Gold 105 – Banal 33, Porter 16, Dennison 10, Desiderio 10, Publico 8, Salem 7, Tolentino 7, Wong 5, Martinez 3, Canada 2, Pili 2, Castor 0, Gaco 0, Reyes 0.

Che’Lu 81 — Melano 17, Viernes 13, Collado 11, Ruaya 9, De Joya 6, Siruma 5, Taganas 5, Ochea 4, Lao 3, Flores 2, Mallari 2, Sta. Ana 2, Hernandez 0.

Quarterscores: 27-27, 45-48, 73-58, 105-81.

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