The Centro Escolar University got back at the BRT Sumisip Basilan-St. Clare Saints, 83-68, to force a decider in their 2019 PBA D-League Foundation Cup semifinal series, Monday at the Paco Arena in Manila.
Senegalese big man Malick Diouf was all over the floor, powering the Scorpions with 20 points, 16 rebounds, seven assists, six steals, and three assists in the bounce-back victory.
“We know that if we lose, we go home. We just have to come out, compete, and fight. And that’s what we did kasi last game we gave up the fight,” said coach Derrick Pumaren.
Shooter Rich Guinitaran produced 19 points and three rebounds. Jerome Santos supplied 17 points, eight boards, three dimes, two steals, and a block, while Franz Diaz chipped in 14 markers.
CEU pulled away with an 11-3 blitz to turn a slim 51-43 lead to a 62-46 advantage after a Kyle Sunga bucket with 1:29 left in the third canto.
The Scorpions would lead by as many as 23 points, 73-50, following a Guinitaran jumper with 8:18 remaining in the final chapter. They then walked away with the 15-point victory.
“I think our defense clicked today,” said Pumaren, as CEU forced the opposition to commit 27 turnovers.
Jhaps Bautista had 11 points and four rebounds to lead BRT Sumisip-St. Clare in the defeat that snapped their eight-game winning streak since the start of the conference.
Joshua Fontanilla added 10 markers, five assists, and three rebounds for the Saints, who played without head coach Stevenson Tiu due to sickness.
CEU 83 — Diouf 20, Guinitaran 19, Santos 17, Diaz 14, Bernabe 6, Sunga 3, Tagal 2, De Ocampo 2, Tuadles 0.
BRT Sumisip-St. Clare 68 — Bautista 11, Fontanilla 10, Dumapig 9, Hallare 7, Collado 6, Batino 5, Pare 5, Rubio 5, Gabo 3, Manacho 3, Peñaredondo 3, Tiquia 1, Santos 0.
Quarterscores: 24-19, 37-33, 66-50, 83-68.