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Paul Desiderio gets fitting send off as Go for Gold wallops CEU


Though playing shorthanded, the Go for Gold Scratchers were still able to show their grit to hack out a 75-60 victory over the Centro Escolar University Scorpions, Monday in the 2018 PBA D-League Foundation Cup at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.

Missing four of their rotation players, the Scratchers held their ground against the Scorpions to nab their sixth win and move closer from securing a semifinal spot.

Newcomer Rey Publico had an instant impact for Go for Gold, topping his side with a double-double of 18 points and 11 rebounds.

“One of our biggest weaknesses is rebounding and that’s why we got him,” said coach Charles Tiu of Publico. “He’s an energy guy and that’s one thing we really lacked.”

Paul Desiderio also contributed 17 points, four rebounds, and three assists in his final game for the Scratchers, as he rejoins the UP Fighting Maroons for their preseason preparations.

Matt Salem also sustained his hot streak, going 3-of-8 from downtown to notch 16 points and seven rebounds after tallying a triple-double in Go for Gold’s last game.

“I’m happy that we won and we played defense for once,” said Tiu.

Defense did it for the Scratchers as they overturned a tight five-point deficit, 43-38, midway through the third frame and used a killer 16-4 surge to snatch the 54-47 edge at the end of the period, before fending off numerous rallies from the Scorpions.

It also helped that Go for Gold won the rebounding battle, 52-43.

The Scratchers missed the services of Gab Banal, who is still in Australia due to a personal commitment, as well as injury-riddled players Jerwin Gaco (flu), James Martinez (ITB) and Ron Dennison (muscle strain).

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Rich Guinitaran paced CEU (4-4) with 16 points and five rebounds, as Keanu Caballero got 11 points, eight assists, seven rebounds, and three steals in the losing cause.


The Scores:

Go for Gold 75 – Publico 18, Desiderio 17, Salem 16, Porter 8, Reyes 8, Pili 5, Castor 3, Capistrano 0, Tolentino 0, Wong 0.

CEU 60 – Guinitaran 16, Ke. Caballero 11, Oloume 9, Rojas 9, Fuentes 6, Formento 3, Ko. Caballero 2, Intic 0, Wamar 0.

Quarterscores: 22-19, 34-37, 54-47, 75-60.

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