Technological Institute of the Philippines maximized its win-once incentive, downing Black Mamba, 82-71, in the 2019 PBA D-League Second Conference quarterfinals Monday at Paco Arena.
Papa Ndiaye led the Engineers with 22 points and nine rebounds in the win that completed the semis cast.
Rey De Mesa supplied 12 points, four rebounds, and three assists, while Bryan Santos added 10 markers for TIP.
The Engineers held a 30-14 second quarter lead before Black Mamba rallied back to take a 46-44 edge after Jay Gadon’s free throws with 2:50 remaining in the third canto.
But TIP answered back with a 16-5 run, punctuated by Jun Bonsubre’s triple en route to restore an 11-point lead, 60-49, with 7:26 left to play, and the game would never be in question from then on.
“We just kept at it,” said coach Potit De Vera. “From start to finish, we just kept at what we keep practicing every day.”
TIP now sets its sights on its best-of-three semis against Marinerong Pilipino, which, coincidentally, was its partner in the 2018 Foundation Cup. That joint venture resulted to a semis trip.
“Poetic justice ba? Marinero-TIP last conference,” said De Vera. “We’re gonna compete hard against them.”
Billy Ray Robles finished with 21 points and 10 rebounds to set the pace for the Energy Drink.
Dahrell Caranguian made 17 points and 10 rebounds as he was the only other double-digit scorer for Black Mamba.
TIP 82 — Ndiaye 22, De Mesa 12, B. Santos 10, Daguro 9, Carurucan 8, Tumalip 6, Bonsubre 5, Cenal 5, Alattica 3, Sandagon 2, Pinca 0, I. Santos 0.
Black Mamba 71 — Robles 21, Caranguian 17, Derige 8, Terso 7, Vidal 5, Gadon 4, Medina 3, Bolos 2, Balucanag 2, Castro 2, Sison 0, Vitug 0.
Quarterscores: 17-10, 30-23, 52-49, 82-71.