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PBA D-League: Mark sparks as La Salle-Ecooil closes in on back-to-back


De La Salle University-Ecooil utilized two crippling runs in the first half to pull away for a 108-82 victory over Marinerong Pilipino-San Beda in Game 1 of the 2023 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup title series on Thursday at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.

The defending champion Green Archers practically dominated the match with efficient defense, strong rebounding, and excellent shooting to move within reach of a title repeat.

EcoOil-La Salle can secure the best-of-three series with another win on Monday at the same venue.

Mark Nonoy warmed up early, going 5-of-8 from the field for 14 points in the first half, while Joshua David knocked down two 3-point shots that led to a 13-0 breakaway, putting the defending champs in control.

Up by 10 after the first quarter, EcoOil-La Salle opened the second period by scoring 10 unanswered points. Nonoy and CJ Austria led the charge, stretching the lead to 38-18.

Nonoy’s late trey in the second quarter gave EcoOil-La Salle its biggest advantage at 59-27.

The Red Lions never recovered from that deficit.

“Hindi ako nakauwi sa amin pero okay lang kasi sacrifice. Ginawa kong motivation ‘yun. Dedicate ko itong panalo na ito sa anak ko,” said Nonoy, who failed to attend his son’s first birthday and christening in Negros Occidental on Thursday.

Michael Phillips led La Salle with 19 points, while Nonoy finished with 16. Austria contributed 13, and Kevin Quiambao had 12.

The Green Archers shot 20-of-38 in the first half, while the Red Lions struggled, shooting 12-of-35. EcoOil-La Salle also enjoyed a 21-12 advantage in turnover points and a 23-2 edge in fast break points.

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Jacob Cortez tallied 18 points, while Cuntapay had 16. James Payosing scored 13 for the Red Lions, who will attempt to level the series on Monday.

Marinerong Pilipino-San Beda took its only lead at 6-5 on a 3-point shot by Damie Cuntapay at the 7:56 mark of the first quarter.


The Scores:

DLSU-Ecooil 108 – Phillips M. 19, Nonoy 16, Austria 13, Quiambao 12, Gollena 9, David 9, Nelle 7, Abadam 7, Alao 5, Nwanwko 4, Cortez 4, Phillips B. 3, Manuel 0, Escandor 0.

Marinerong Pilipino-San Beda 82 – Cortez 18, Cuntapay 16, Payosing 13, Royo 13, Andrada 8, Alfaro 6, Visser 4, Jopia 3, Tagala 1, Puno 0, Alloso 0, Jalbuena 0.

Quarterscores: 28-18, 59-33, 77-61, 108-82.

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