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Go for Gold downs CEU

By Jerome Lagunzad

Games Tomorrow
(Ynares Sports Arena)
1 p.m. – AMA Online Education vs CEU
3 p.m. – Batangas-EAC vs Che’Lu Bar and Grill

Big man Rey Publico made an immediate impact yesterday as undermanned Go for Gold repeated over Centro Escolar University, 75-60, to close in on a semifinals berth in the 2018 PBA D-League Foundation Cup at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.

The 6-foot-4 Publico, plucked from the free agency pool, provided the spark off the bench with game-highs of 18 points and 11 rebounds, doing his best to help the Scratchers overcome the absence of four vital cogs and outplay the Scorpions in the second half.

It was the second straight victory and sixth overall in eight starts for Go for Gold, which joined idle Che’Lu Bar and Grill on top of the heap. The Scratchers, together with the Revellers, could clinch their semis spots if Batangas-EAC loses to Marinerong Pilipino in a crucial encounter being played at press time.

University of the Philippines star Paul Desiderio came up with 17 points while sweet-shooting big man Matt Salem banged in 10 of his 16 points in the final period as Go for Gold got the job done despite missing the services of Gab Banal, Ron Dennison, James Martinez and Jerwin Gaco due to injuries, sickness and personal reasons.

However, Scratchers coach Charles Tiu was primarily pleased with the way Publico made a triumphant league comeback after he previously suited up for Wang’s Basketball-Letran in the season-opening Aspirants Cup.