Peter Alfaro drained the game-winning trey as Marinerong Pilipino-San Beda stunned reigning champion EcoOil-La Salle, 82-79, to barge into the winner’s circle of the 2023 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup, Tuesday at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
With the Red Lions staring at another near collapse, Alfaro came to the rescue and nailed the go-ahead basket off Yukien Andrada’s dime in the last 3.9 seconds to lift his side to a 1-1 slate.
Marinero-San Beda moved to 1-1 and thus atoned for a 94-92 meltdown against the PSP Gymers (1-1) while handing the first defeat of EcoOil-La Salle (1-1) to forge a three-way tie so far behind Perpetual (1-0).
“The boys really wanted to win. Nakita naman sa effort and focus nila. Last game’s defeat was heartbreaking but I always tell them to move on. Next play na kami so ito ngayon, they showed that character,” said coach Yuri Escueta.
Alfaro finished with 10 points, two rebounds, and two steals to provide a solid lift to Jacob Cortez, who paced the Red Lions anew with 19 points and three rebounds.
Andrada chimed in with 18 points, four rebounds, and two assists, including a booming triple to give Marinero-San Beda a 79-68 lead in the last five minutes only to suffer a near meltdown.
The Red Lions, who also blew a 10-point lead against PSP in the fourth quarter, conceded an 11-0 Green Archers’ closeout highlighted by Raven Cortez’s back-to-back short heaves before Alfaros’ heroics.
Mark Nonoy had 24 while Quiambao hauled down 20 points, nine rebounds, and three blocks for the Green Archers, who scored an easy 84-62 win over CEU last week but missed the services of Mike and Ben Phillips due to their Gilas Pilipinas commitments.
Marinerong Pilipino-San Beda 82 – Cortez 19, Andrada 18, Tagle 10, Alfaro 10, Puno 7, Payosing 7, Cuntapay 4, Gallego 4, Visser 3, Royo 0, Jopia 0
EcoOil-La Salle 79 – Nonoy 24, Quiambao 20, David 9, Cortez 6, Nelle 6, Escandor 6, Nwankwo 4, Abadam 4, Macalalag 0, Alao 0, Reyes 0, Gollena 0.
Quarterscores: 22-16, 43-41, 67-60, 82-79