By Jerome Lagunzad
(Ynares Sports Arena)
1 p.m. – Go for Gold vs Marinerong Pilipino
3 p.m. – AMA Online vs Batangas-EAC
With forward Pierce Chan leading the way, Centro Escolar University repeated over also-ran AMA Online Education, 82-71, yesterday 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-3 Chan sizzled with a game-high 30 points and hauled down 13 rebounds as the Scorpions buckled down to work early on and never gave the Titans any chance to regain their rhythm for a much-needed victory.
Rich Guinitaran added 15 points, all coming from beyond the arc, while Cameroon big man Gilles Oloume collected 12 points, 17 boards and three blocks for CEU, which bounced back from a 75-60 loss to Final Four-bound Go for Gold last Monday.
More importantly, CEU racked up its fifth victory against four losses, giving it some breathing room over fifth-running Batangas-EAC (3-5) which is fighting for its dear life against co-leader Che’Lu Bar and Grill (6-2) which is being played at press time.
If the Generals will fall prey to the Revellers, the Scorpions will advance to the next round along with idle Marinerong Pilipino Skippers (5-3), turning next week’s matches into playoff positioning.
“It’s very important that we got the win here against AMA. We can’t let the other teams do the dirty work for us. We gotta take care of things for us,” said acting CEU coach Derrick Pumaren.
“As I’ve told the boys, it’s not all about X’s and O’s. The thing is you have to have the heart, the will to win, and the passion to win because AMA is 0-8, right? We can not have the attitude of treating our rivals lightly. We have to show it on the floor.”
That’s exactly what the Scorpions did as they turned up the heat on the Titans early on and continued their assault in the third period where they enjoyed their biggest lead at 61-40 off top playmaker Orlan Wamar’s jumper.