Undermanned CEU enters D-League finals after ousting St. Clare
MANILA — Centro Escolar University claimed the last seat in the PBA D-League finals after ousting Virtual Reality-St. Clare, 89-72, in the rubber match of their semifinal series at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig on Tuesday.
Still reeling from the loss of a bunch of players due to game-fixing allegations, the seven-man Scorpions came out of the halftime break smoking, opening the third quarter with a 20-4 run to pull away for good from the Saints.
Rich Guinitaran made 23 points and seven rebounds, while Dave Bernabe added 22 points, 16 coming in the pivotal second half, 14 rebounds, and five steals for CEU, which will face Cignal-Ateneo in the best-of-five finals starting on Thursday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan City.
“For me, this team is already a champion. With all the adversities na nangyari (that happened), we still made it,” said Coach Derrick Pumaren.
Junjie Hallare made 19 markers for Virtual Reality-St. Clare.
CEU 89 — Guinitaran 23, Bernabe 22, Diouf 14, Sunga 12, Santos 8, Diaz 7, Abastillas 3.
ST. CLARE 72 — Hallare 19, Fontanilla 16, Pare 11, Lunor 7, Tiquia 7, Santos 6, Ambulodto 4, Rubio 2, Penaredondo 0.
Quarters: 16-21, 38-39, 67-52, 89-72.