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PBA D-League: Estrada, Rojas link up as St. Clare weathers UST to clinch playoff spot

Johnsherick Estrada and John Rojas delivered in the clutch for Adalem Construction-St. Clare, taking a 87-86 over the Sherwin Concepcion-powered Builders Warehouse-UST to clinch a playoff spot in the 2022 PBA D-League Aspirants Cup, Thursday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Estrada, the reigning NAASCU MVP, fired 13 of his 21 points in the payoff period while Rojas got 16 points, three dimes, and two boards for Adalem-St. Clare.

“Humanap kami ng go-to guy para ma-seal namin ng maayos yung game,” St. Clare head coach Jinino Manansala said of Estrada. Manansala was the former head coach of UST.

The Saints looked poised to cruise to the victory after grabbing an 11-point lead, 76-65, but the Growling Tigers raced back and got to within one, 76-75, with 3:41 left on the clock to set up the frantic finish.

Lucky for Adalem-St. Clare, Estrada, Rojas, and Gelo Sablan were there to make the pivotal baskets down the stretch.

St. Clare guest player Joshua Fontanilla added 17 points and seven assists.

Sherwin Concepcion paced the winless Builders Warehouse- with 19 points on 4-of-9 shooting from deep, to go with 10 rebounds. Bryan Santos and and Kean Baclaan chipped in 17 and 14 points, respectively.

The Scores:

Adalem-St. Clare 87 — Estrada 21, Fontanilla 17, Rojas 16, Ndong 8, Sablan 7, Estacio 6, Sumagaysay 5, Gamboa 4, Lopez 3, Tapenio 0, Manacho 0.

Builders Warehouse-UST 86 — Concepcion 19, Santos 17, Baclaan 14, Pangilinan 11, Stevens 7, Manalang 5, Mantua 5, Cabanero 4, Wilson 4, Escobido 0, Crisostomo 0, Canoy 0, Herrera 0.

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Quarterscores: 16-21, 34-40, 59-60, 87-86.

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