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PBA D-League: Santos, CEU shoot down Marinerong Pilipino to clinch playoff spot

Centro Escolar University marched on to the 2022 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup playoffs with another 84-77 upset win, this time against Marinerong Pilipino Monday at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.

Jerome Santos caught fire in the second half, dropping 18 of his 25 points as the Scorpions clinched their second straight win and, more importantly, booked a spot in the playoffs.

He also collected nine rebounds and two steals.

“Beyond my expectations itong lahat. Di ko pa na-imagine sa young team namin na makapasok sa playoffs pero lahat ng ito, pinagtulung-tulungan ng players at tinrabaho nila itong lahat,” said coach Chico Manabat after CEU finished the eliminations at 4-3.

It was an all-out effort indeed for CEU with Lenard Santiago contributing 13 points, five boards, and two steals, Ronrei Tolentino flirting with a double-double with eight points and 11 rebounds, and Nigerian center Victor Balogun chiming in eight points, eight boards, and two rejections.

The Scorpions showed poise after squandering a 66-50 lead entering the payoff period as the Skippers rallied and cut the lead down to one, 72-71, with 4:49 remaining.

Santiago and Balogun conspired in the telling 10-0 response to retake an 82-71 lead in the final three minutes before CEU’s defense did the trick to escape with the victory.

Adrian Nocum fired 18 points, seven rebounds, and two assists for Marinerong Pilipino (4-3) which played without an under-the-weather Juan Gomez de Liano.

Warren Bonifacio and Arvin Gamboa both scored 13 points apiece, while Jollo Go shot 3-of-12 from deep to only have 12 to his name.

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The Scores:

CEU 84 — Santos 25, Santiago 13, Diaz 8, Balogun 8, Tolentino 8, Ancheta 6, Ferrer 5, Borromeo 5, Bernabe 4, Malicana 2, Reyes 0, Enrile 0, Cabotaje 0.

Marinerong Pilipino 77 — Nocum 18, Bonifacio 13, Gamboa 13, Go 12, Carino 9, Garcia 5, Pido 3, Agustin 2, Bonsubre 2, Hernandez 0.

Quarterscores: 27-26, 45-38, 66-50, 84-77.

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