in

PBA DL: It’s CEU vs Ateneo in finals

Mohammad Pare of St. Clare College (R) vs Malick Diouf of CEU (L) (PBA Images)
Mohammad Pare of St. Clare College (R) vs Malick Diouf of CEU (L) (PBA Images)

by Jonas Terrado

Game Tomorrow (The Arena, San Juan)
4 p.m. – CEU vs Cignal-Ateneo

Centro Escolar University forged an unlikely title showdown with Cignal-Ateneo after topping St. Clare-Virtual Reality, 89-72, in the deciding third game of their PBA D-League semifinals series yesterday at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.

A third quarter attack powered by Rich Guinitaran and reserve big man Dave Bernabe enabled the Scorpions to continue their Cinderella run after being reduced to eight uniformed players following game-fixing allegations that rocked the team.

Mohammad Pare of St. Clare College (R) vs Malick Diouf of CEU (L) (PBA Images)
Mohammad Pare of St. Clare College (R) vs Malick Diouf of CEU (L) (PBA Images)

Guinitaran had 23 points while Bernabe scored 16 of his 22 points in the second half while frustrating St. Clare big man Mohammad Pare on the defensive end as CEU secured its first finals berth since a runner-up finish in the 2017 Foundation Cup.

“We didn’t expect to be here, to make it to the Finals. But the heart and the desire of the players to win, there’s no substitute to that,” said CEU coach Derrick Pumaren, whose wards produced a major recovery after St. Clare prevented a sweep with an 84-50 defeat last Thursday.

But the road gets harder for Pumaren and CEU in the title series against Cignal-Ateneo, which took an easy route to the finals after a semis sweep of City of Valencia-San Sebastian.

Game 1 of the best-of-five affair set tomorrow at The Arena in San Juan.

Senegalese center Maodu Malick Diouf had 14 points, 20 rebounds and five blocks while Kurt Sunga added 12 points and 10 assists for the Scorpions.

CEU trailed 39-38 at the half but Guinitaran led a 20-4 surge to take a 58-43 lead with over three minutes remaining in the third period.

Junjie Hallare and Joshua Fontanilla scored 19 and 16 points but their efforts to lead St. Clare back went in vain.

Pare had 11 points and 15 rebounds but shot 5-of-14 from the field while committing a team-high six turnovers.

Scores:
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.

What do you think?

Written by Tempo Online

Pinay chessers topple Chinese rivals

PetroGazz Angels (PVL photo)

PetroGazz seeks sixth PVL win