Banking on its experience, Marinerong Pilipino stamped its class over the retooled Zark’s Burger-Lyceum with a tight 94-92 victory in the 2018 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
The Skippers squandered a 17-point lead, 56-39, with 7:57 remaining in the third quarter, but held off the Jawbreakers late courtesy of three freethrows from Rian Ayonayon with 25.6 seconds remaining that put his side up 89-85.
Mike Nzeusseu and CJ Perez then botched their three-point attempts for Zark’s in the final minute.
Renzo Subido paced Marinerong Pilipino with 20 points, five assists, and three rebounds, while Ayonayon scattered 15 markers, three boards, and two dimes.
Gab Banal also tallied a double-double of 14 points, 14 rebounds, six assists, and four steals despite committing 10 turnovers, while Papot Paredes got 12 of his 14 markers in the first half, where the Skippers established a comfortable lead.
Marinerong Pilipino staged a 12-0 run in the first half to erect a 47-35 halftime lead, which extended to 17, 56-39 early in the third frame.
The Skippers’ depth was in full display in the game between the early contenders as Banal afforded to field in top rookie selections Alvin Pasaol and Abu Tratter late in the second half, a move which paid dividends considering the short time the two had in preparing with the team.
“They delivered down the stretch. They’re still feeling their way in the system, but the good thing is that they were able to deliver when their numbers were called,” said coach Koy Banal.
Despite coming out on top, Banal doesn’t want Marinerong Pilipino to get too ahead of itself early in the conference.
“This win means nothing. We need to keep on working get better every day because everybody will now prepare for us,” he said.
Jaycee Marcelino carried Zark’s Burger-Lyceum with 20 points, four rebounds, and three assists, while Perez had 19 markers and five assists in the defeat.
MARINERONG PILIPINO 94 — Subido 20, Ayonayon 15, Paredes 14, Banal 14, Robles 10, Tolentino 4, Tratter 4, Pasaol 4, Terso 3, Lopez 2, Iñigo 2, Babilonia 2, Toth 0.
ZARK’S BURGER-LYCEUM 92 — Jc. Marcelino 20, Perez 19, Nzeusseu 18, Ayaay 11, Ibañez 6, Jv. Marcelino 6, Cinco 5, Tansingco 3, Santos 2, Pretta 2, Marata 0, Liwag 0.
Quarters: 17-19, 47-34, 69-58, 94-92.