MARINERONG Pilipino boosted its chances of taking an outright semifinals berth, eliminating Perpetual Help, 78-66, in the PBA D-League Aspirants' Cup on Tuesday at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
The Skippers gained a share of the lead with Centro Escolar University and Akari-Adamson at 8-2.
To clinch a top two spot, Marinerong Pilipino need to win its final elimination-round game against Che'Lu Bar and Grill-San Sebastian and hope the Scorpions or the Falcons will drop their final assignments.
The Altas joined also-ran Jose Rizal University, AMA Online Education and Batangas-EAC in the cellar with a 3-7 card.
Alvin Pasaol had 15 points, eight rebounds and two assists, while Gab Banal scored 15 and had five boards and four assists.
Billy Robles and Vince Tolentino chipped in 10 markers apiece.
"Nung halftime we just talked to the players and reminded them na Perps is not just gonna lie down. We need to work hard here," said Marinerong Pilipino coach Koy Banal.
Indeed, the Skippers made the extra effort to build a double digit lead, 53-43, on Kyle Toth's breakaway layup with a minute and 20 seconds remaining in the third quarter.
Perpetual Help got to within five, 61-56, early in the final frame, but the Skippers regained their bearing right away with Pasaol nailing a three-point play and Banal making a layup for a 66-56 lead.
Prince Eze paced the Altas with 16 points and 16 rebounds to go with five blocks, Rey Peralta scored 16, while Edgar Charcos had 14 points.
Marinerong Pilipino 78 — Banal 15, Pasaol 15, Robles 10, Tolentino 10, Ayonayon 5, Toth 5, Babilonia 4, Eboña 4, Iñigo 3, Terso 3, Lopez 2, Tratter 2.
Perpetual Help 66 — Eze 16, Peralta 16, Charcos 14, Aurin 11, Coronel 9, Mangalino 0, Pido 0, Precillas 0, Tamayo 0, Tiburcio 0, Villanueva 0.
Quarterscores: 21-20; 35-33; 55-47; 78-66.