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CEU continues D-League run, nips St. Clare in semis

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MANILA — Centro Escolar University Scorpion’s “Seven Strong” run continued on Monday after trouncing former rival Virtual Reality-St. Clare, 76-75, at the start of the Philippine Basketball Association D-League semifinals at the Paco Arena.

Rich Guinitaran scored the go-ahead layup with 13.7 seconds left as the Scorpions scored their second straight win since getting embroiled in a game-fixing scandal that forced them to let go of seven players, leaving them with only seven players available.

“You have to give it to the boys. Though we’re just playing with just seven guys, I told them when we step inside the court, it’s all about winning,” coach Derrick Pumaren said.

Guinitaran scored 18 points, six rebounds, and two assists to backstop Malick Diouf, who set a new D-League record with 33 rebounds alongside 19 points, eight blocks, four assists, and four steals, for CEU, which is now 1-0 up in their best-of-three semifinal series.

Irvin Palencia fired 18 points and eight steals for St. Clare.

In the second game, Cignal-Ateneo pulled away in the second half to go 1-0 up as well against Valencia-San Sebastian. (PNA)

The Scores:

First Game

CEU 76 — Diouf 19, Guinitaran 18, Sunga 16, Diaz 13, Santos 8, Abastillas 2, Bernabe 0.

ST. CLARE 75 — Palencia 18, Fontanilla 14, Hallare 13, Rubio 10, Pare 8, Lunor 6, Fuentes 4, Ambuludto 2, Santos 0, Rivera 0.

Quarters: 15-9, 32-31, 54-48, 76-75.

Second Game

CIGNAL-ATENEO 105 — Kouame 19, Mi. Nieto 12, Mendoza 11, Ma. Nieto 10, Ravena 10, Belangel 9, Wong 9, Mamuyac 7, Navarro 6, Andrade 6, Credo 3, Daves 2, Go 1, Tio 0, Berjay 0.

VALENCIA-SSCR 67 — Ilagan 24, Bulanadi 23, Capobres 8, Calma 8, Dela Cruz 2, Villapando 1, Tero 1, Sumoda 0, Bonleon 0, Desoyo 0, Are 0, Altamirano 0, Loristo 0, Calahat 0.

Quarters: 17-19, 34-35, 66-54, 105-67.