By jonas terrado
Paul Desiderio scored a layup with 3.4 seconds left and Go for Gold completed its stunning comeback with a 98-96 thriller over Che’Lu Bar and Grill last night to move a win shy of capturing the PBA D-League Foundation Cup crown at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
Desiderio, who has a number of highlight reels for University of the Philippines in the UAAP, blew past Levi Hernadez to score an uncontested layup that enabled the Scratchers to take the lead for good.
Che’Lu was forced to throw a baseball pass off the inbound with no timeouts left, but Go for Gold was able to deflect the ball intended for Jeff Viernes at the other end, giving the Scratchers a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five Finals after being down by 16 in the third.
“I rode with Paul and told him to take us home,” Go for Gold coach Charles Tiu of Desiderio, who returned at the start of the Finals after missing the latter part of the eliminations and the duration of the semifinals due to UP’s training camp in Serbia.
Game 4 is set on Tuesday at the same venue, with Go for Gold seeking its first title in only its second conference in the PBA’s developmental tournament.