EcoOil-La Salle flaunted its might as it posted a 91-78 win over Marinerong Pilipino in Game 3 to capture the Philippine Basketball Association D-League Aspirants’ Cup Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Michael Phillips held the torch for the Green Archers with his double-double of 15 points, 16 rebounds, three assists, and three steals as they claimed their first championship in the developmental league.
“We got to want it and want it more and the boys showed it,” said coach Derick Pumaren, who finally ascended to the top of the ranks after a runner-up finish with Centro Escolar University in the 2019 Aspirants’ Cup.
Schonny Winston topscored with 16 points, five boards, five assists, and three steals as the Archers started off hot, racing to 21-9 opening salvo to demoralize the Mariners and dictate the tempo in the first three quarters.
Mark Nonoy, who picked the right time to play his best game in the league, drilled in 15 points, including three treys, and Evan Nelle got 13 points, five rebounds, and five dimes in the winner-take-all affair.
It wasn’t a walk in the park for the Green Archers, though.
After leading by as many as 21 points, the lead was pruned to just nine midway through the fourth frame.
But CJ Austria caught fire, scoring eight of the team’s final 12 points to close the show.
“As I told the boys, this is part of the program, this is part of the process. If we’re gonna bring our A-game, we got to bring it in today’s game,” said Pumaren, who is seeking to lead the Archers back to the University Athletic Association of the Philippines throne.
Juan Gomez de Liano, the Most Valuable Player of the Conference, fired 30 points, six rebounds, and three assists to lead Marinerong Pilipino to a bridesmaid finish.
Jollo Go failed to finish the game after he was ejected for a low blow on Ben Phillips at the 8:53 mark of the third period.
EcoOil-La Salle (91) — Winston 16, M. Phillips 15, Nonoy 15, Nelle 13, Austria 8, Manuel 7, Quiambao 6, Nwankwo 6, B. Phillips 5, Macalalag 0.
Marinerong Pilipino (78) — Gomez de Liano 30, Nocum 18, Gamboa 12, Soberano 7, Manlangit 5, Carino 2, Go 2, Pido 2, Bonifacio 0, Bonsubre 0, Agustin 0.
Quarters: 25-19, 51-36, 74-57, 91-78.
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