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PBA D-League: Payosing a bane to Letran, leads San Beda to Finals

Marinerong Pilipino-San Beda rode on a strong first half to beat Wangs Basketball@27 Striker Letran, 79-65, in the deciding Game 3 of their semifinal duel and advance to the Finals of the 2023 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.

The Red Lions were simply awesome. They outshot, outworked, and outhustled the Knights in a game that surprisingly appeared so easy for San Beda as Letran struggled to find its rhythm throughout the entire game.

Their second straight win in the best-of-three series sent the Red Lions to a title showdown against defending champion La Salle-Ecooil. The best-of-three series starts on Thursday.

“The players didn’t relax. I just told them not to stop playing for 48 minutes, and they took it to heart. In Game 1, we stopped,” said coach Yuri Escueta.

“Credit goes to our players. It’s their effort. I just told them that even if we take a big lead, it’s important how we sustain it. We focused on defense and played smart on offense the whole game,” he added.

San Beda was all business from the get-go and visibly in complete control from the time it took a huge 46-39 advantage at the end of the first half.

The Knights, who won Game 1 in overtime, never got the chance to take the lead and were disappointing on both ends.

Letran shot 10 of 29 in the first half while committing 12 turnovers that translated into 20 crucial points for San Beda.

James Payosing topped the scoring for San Beda with 23 points, including a 3-point shot that gave the Red Lions a commanding 53-36 advantage midway through the third quarter.

#ReadMore  Russel Tan, Bryan Santos lift TIP to D-League playoffs

Damie Cuntapay chipped in with 11 points, and Yukien Andrada added 10 for San Beda, which shot 45 percent from the field compared to Letran’s 34 percent. The Red Lions also outrebounded the Knights, 47-36.

Kurt Reyson showed the way for Letran with 19 points but shot just 4 of 19 from the field. Deo Cuajao had 13, and Neil Guriano added 10.

The Scores:

Marinero-San Beda 79 – Payosing 23, Cuntapay 11, Andrada 10, Alfaro 7, Jopia 7, Gallego 6, Puno 6, Visser 4, Cortez 3, Royo 2, Tagle 0, Alloso 0, Jalbuena 0, Tagala 0, Teruel II 0.

Wangs-Letran 65 – Reyson 19, Cuajao 13, Guarino 10, Santos 7, Tolentino 5, Morales 5, Go 4, Monje 2, Laquindanum 0. Brillantes 0, Bojorcelo 0.

Quarterscores: 22-12, 46-29, 61-50, 79-65.

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