MANILA, Philippines – Centro Escolar University (CEU) claimed the top spot in the Foundation Group, outlasting Valencia City Bukidnon-San Sebastian, 71-65, in the 2019 PBA D-League Tuesday, March 19, at Paco Arena in Manila.
Senegalese big man Malick Diouf etched his name in the developmental league's history books as he set a new rebounding record with 30 boards. He also finished with a game-high 21 points and 4 blocks as the Scorpions racked up their fourth-straight win in as many games.
"He was controlling [the boards]," coach Derrick Pumaren said.
Jan Formento produced 16 points, Christian Uri supplied 13 points, 5 boards and 4 assists, and Keanu Caballero made 10 markers, 6 dimes and 5 boards in the triumph.
CEU wasted its strong 19-5 start as the opposition ran back and led by 9 in the 2nd frame, but they restored order in the final canto by building a 69-59 lead with 4:20 remaining.
The Golden Stags, however, refused to throw in the towel. Kenneth Villapando's three-point play conversion inched his side to within 5 with 2:41 left in the game.
Allyn Bulanadi tried to cut the deficit even shorter, but he muffed both of his shots as Diouf was there to secure both rebounds, which not only sealed the deal but the new record as well.
"Valencia, in their first 3 games, really started well so for today we wanted to start strong which we did," Pumaren said. "But I'm not happy with our turnovers because they came back."
CEU committed 20 turnovers which led to 19 easy points for the opposition.
Bulanadi had 16 points on a dismal 6/22 shooting to lead Valencia, who fell to 3-1.
Alvin Capobres supplied 13 points and 13 rebounds, while JM Calma added 10.
In the second game, the UST Growling Tigers pulled away late en route to a 94-82 victory over Go for Gold-CSB to claim the top spot of the Aspirants Group.
UST lost hold of a 10-point lead in the third canto as Go for Gold knocked within 5 in the final frame, but the Growling Tigers responded with an 8-0 run for an 82-69 lead with 3:56 left to play to put the game away for good.
Soulemane Chabi Yo powered the Growling Tigers with 32 points on 11-of-13 shooting from the field along with 25 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, and 2 blocks in the win that improved UST's record to 4-0.
Sherwin Concepcion supplied 13 points and 19 rebounds, as guard Mark Nonoy delivered 10 markers, 3 rebounds, two assists, and two steals in the win.
"We started flat, buti na lang 'yung second stringers ko bumawi. It's a preseason game, so ang priority namin is how to improve as a team. And nakikita ko na marami pang dapat trabahuhin," said UST head coach Aldin Ayo as his side scored 37 bench points. "Sana habang mas tumatagal 'yung liga, mas mabuo kami as a team."
(We started flat, but thankfully the second stringers got us back. It's a preseason game, so our priority is how to improve as a team. And I saw that we still have a lot to work on. Hopefully, as the league goes on, we grow more as a team.)
Justin Gutang led the Scratchers with 29 points and 11 rebounds in the loss that dropped their card to 1-3. Jimboy Pasturan contributed 13 points, while forward Yankee Haruna chimed in 10 markers and 5 rebounds.
The Scratchers played without FilAm forward Roosevelt Adams due to a knee injury.
CEU 71 - Diouf 21, Formento 16, Uri 13, Ke. Caballero 10, Chan 6, Fuentes 3, Lisbo 2, Rojas 0, Diaz 0, Intic 0.
Valencia-San Sebastian 65 - Bulanadi 16, Capobres 13, Calma 10, Sumoda 7, Desoyo 7, Ilagan 5, Villapando 3, Dela Cruz 2, Bonleon 2, Are 0, Calahat 0, Tero 0, Loristo 0, Quiambao 0.
Quarters: 22-13, 35-36, 56-51, 71-65.
UST 94 - Chabi Yo 32, Concepcion 13, Subido 12, Nonoy 10, Ando 9, Lee 8, Abando 6, Pangilinan 2, Paraiso 2, Bataller 0, Marcos 0.
Go for Gold-CSB 82 - Gutang 29, Pasturan 13, Haruna 10, Naboa 9, Carlos 8, Belgica 7, Nayve 4, Dixon 2, Pili 0, Young 0, Pangalangan 0.
Quarters: 20-17, 43-35, 68-60, 94-82.