The third-seed in the 2018 PBA D-League Foundation Cup semifinals will be the Marinerong Pilipino-TIP Engineers, as they locked up the spot with an 81-72 win over the Centro Escolar University Scorpions, Thursday at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
Robbie Manalang anchored the Engineers’ attack as he went bonkers from downtown, drilling five triples to lead his side with 21 points.
But it was the other guards who made sure the Scorpions are cordoned off from making further rallies.
Kimlee Medina strung seven straight points to put the exclamation point to Marinerong Pilipino-TIP’s killer 11-0 run to grab a 76-67 lead with 3:27 left, before Trevis Jackson finished the game off with a triple and a long two with 1:17 remaining on the clock.
Jackson got seven of his 18 in the fourth canto, on top of six rebounds, four assists, and three steals. Medina scored seven of his 11 in the payoff period and hauled down five boards.
“Nothing special,” said coach Koy Banal as the Engineers prepare for the semifinals taking on the loser of the Che’Lu-Go for Gold game. “We just want to go to the playoffs on a high note. It’s a good thing the players were able to step up, especially on the defensive end.”
Rich Guinitaran carried the Scorpions with 20 points, six rebounds, and three assists, while Orlan Wamar got 13 in the loss.
CEU will battle the top seed in the best-of-three semifinals series, set to start next week.
Marinerong Pilipino-TIP 81 – Manalang 21, Jackson 18, Medina 11, Thiele 10, Tratter 10, Napoles 6, Johnson 5, Enguio 0, Matignas 0, Palencia 0.
CEU 72 – Guinitaran 20, Wamar 13, Oloume 10, Chan 8, Formento 5, Ke. Caballero 4, Fuentes 4, Rojas 4, Uri 4, Ko. Caballero 0, Diaz 0, Intic 0, Pamaran 0.
Quarterscores: 18-20, 41-38, 61-63, 81-72.