GO For Gold turned on the heat in the final two quarters to blow past Marinerong Pilipino-TIP, 86-71, in the PBA D-League Foundation Cup on Monday at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
Eric Pili, Dan Wong and Jai Reyes conspired in a huge third quarter onslaught as the Scratchers turned a precarious 36-35 lead to a commanding 61-43 advantage.
Pili and Reyes drained three consecutive three-pointers late in the third period, which took out the fight from the Engineers for good.
The win allowed Go For Gold to tie Che’Lu Bar and Grill at the top spot with 7-2 records as Marinerong Pilipino dropped to a share of third with CEU at 5-4.
“They just played better defense. They played some good defense so that’s basically it for us, we won’t score as much as we want to, but if we play defense, we’ll have a chance to win every game,” said Go for Gold head coach Charles Tiu.
“I’m happy. They played better than I thought. We’re still missing key players. Hopefully our guys get healthy kasi ang dami pa ring nawawala,” he added.
Jai Reyes led the Scratchers with another decent all-around game of 19 points, eight assists, six rebounds and three steals while four other Scratchers breached the double-digit mark.
Gab Banal also made a mark in his return from a two-game absence as he finished with 13 points, seven rebounds, five steals and four assists. Wong finished with 14, Pili added 12 as Rey Publico contributed 10 points and seven boards.
Abu Tratter led the way for the Engineers with 16 points and eight boards but had little help as Trevis Jackson fired blanks, making just three of his 15 shots for seven points.
Go for Gold 86 – Reyes 19, Wong 14, Banal 13, Pili 12, Publico 10, Tolentino 5, Porter 4, Salem 4, Cipriano 3, Gaco 2.
Marinerong Pilipino-TIP 71 – Tratter 16, Enguio 10, Manalang 9, Ndiaye 9, Jackson 7, Palencia 7, Johnson 5, Medina 4, Napoles 4, Matignas 0, B. Santos 0, Thiele 0.
Quarterscores: 13-14; 36-35; 61-43; 86-71.