GO for Gold preserved its stranglehold of the top spot in the 2018 PBA D-League Foundation Cup with a dominant 92-83 win over Centro Escolar University on Thursday at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
Gab Banal continued his strong showing this conference with 21 points, 10 rebounds, three assists, and two blocks to guide the Scratchers to their third straight victory.
Vince Tolentino, meanwhile, was the one to step up this time, pouring 20 points, six assists, and five boards.
“Vince is a really smart player. He has great feel for the game and he does a lot of good things for the team. We just maximized his skillset,” said coach Charles Tiu.
Go for Gold leaned on its veteran smarts with Jai Reyes and Jerwin Gaco combining for 22 points, seven rebounds, and five assists to break away from CEU in the first half, 53-42 and never look back.
The game, however, took on an intense turn when Scorpions playmaker Orlan Wamar threw the ball at Scratchers forward Kris Porter early in the fourth quarter, leading to them both being slapped with technical fouls.
The exchange, though, seemingly woke up Go for Gold as Tolentino and Ron Dennison closed out the game in the waning minutes.
Wamar led CEU with 17 points, while Pierce Chan had 14 points and nine rebounds as the Scorpions suffered their second straight defeat to fall to 1-2.
GO FOR GOLD 92 — Banal 21, Tolentino 20, Gaco 11, Reyes 11, Dennison 8, Martinez 7, Salem 7, Desiderio 5, Porter 2, Capistrano 0, Pili 0, Wong 0.
CEU 83 — Wamar 17, Chan 14, Uri 11, Rojas 10, Guinitaran 9, Ko. Caballero 8, Formento 8, Ke. Caballero 4, Oloume 2, Fuentes 0, Intic 0.
Quarters: 31-29, 53-42, 75-63, 92-83.