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Niko Abatayo provides spark as SMDC-NU thrashes Tolentino-less Wangs

The SMDC-NU Bulldogs dragged the Wangs Basketball Couriers out of the running in the 2019 PBA D-League playoffs with a 102-71 maiming, Monday at JCSGO Gym in Cubao.

The upset-hungry Bulldogs stretched their winning run to three, as the boys of coach Jamike Jarin finally got things together with an all-out attack.

Senegalese center Issa Gaye fired 13 points and nine rebounds to pace SMDC-NU, while Niko Abatayo had all of his 12 points in the first half.

The two were instrumental in the Bulldogs gaining an early 34-20 lead. They hardly felt threatened in the game, grabbing a lead as high as 32, 88-56, early in the payoff period.

Dave Ildefonso also contributed 11 points and five rebounds, while John Galinato and John Lloyd Clemente chimed in 10 points apiece.

“Good thing is we’re finishing strong and that’s a great sign for us. We’re playing better defense, moving the ball well, and the roles are being defined better,” said coach Jamike Jarin.

The victory allowed SMDC-NU to pull even with Wangs with their identical 3-5 slates. They also formally booted the Couriers out in the race for the Foundation Group top-four race.

Denzel Wong topscored for Wangs with 17 points in this fourth consecutive loss.

The Scores:

SMDC-NU 102– Gaye 13, Abatayo 12, D. Ildefonso 11, Clemente 10, Galinato 10, Minerva 9, Mangayao 8, S. Ildefonso 6, Gallego 6, Tibayan 5, Oczon 4, Rangel 4, Diputado 2, Yu 2, Mosqueda 0.

Wangs 71 — Wong 17, Inigo 11, Gerero 10, Ilac 8, Singontoko 7, Bulawan 6, De Mesa 5, Lim 4, Vito 3, Brojan 0, Tongco 0, Evangelista 0.

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Quarterscores: 34-20, 54-46, 86-56, 102-71.

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