UNDERMANNED Go for Gold showed tremendous resolve to clip Centro Escolar University, 75-60, on Monday in the 2018 PBA D-League Foundation Cup at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
Fresh from his triple-double performance in the Scratchers’ last outing, Matt Salem continued to step up as he drained three of his eight attempts from the 3-point line to finish with 16 points and seven rebounds.
New acquisition Rey Publico posted a double-double of 18 points and 11 rebounds in his debut with Go for Gold.
Paul Desiderio had 17 points, four rebounds and three assists in his final match with the Scratchers as he joins the UP Maroons squad in a Serbia training camp.
“I’m happy that we won and we played defense for once,” remarked coach Charles Tiu as his side won the battle of the boards, 52-43.
After trailing 43-38 midway through the third quarter, Jai Reyes and Desiderio linked up in igniting the Scratchers’ 16-4 run to close out the period to take a 54-47 lead before holding off the Scorpions in the fourth quarter.
Go for Gold pulled off the win despite missing four of its key guys, with Gab Banal still in Australia due to a personal commitment, Jerwin Gaco out with the flu), and James Martinez (ITB) and Ron Dennison (muscle strain) dealing with injuries.
The Scratchers moved to joint first place with Che’Lu Bar and Grill with 6-2 cards, while sending CEU down to an even 4-4 record.
Rich Guinitaran led the Scorpions with 16 points and five rebounds, while Keanu Caballero had 11 points, eight assists, seven rebounds and three steals.
Go for Gold 75 – Publico 18, Desiderio 17, Salem 16, Porter 8, Reyes 8, Pili 5, Castor 3, Capistrano 0, Tolentino 0, Wong 0.
CEU 60 – Guinitaran 16, Ke. Caballero 11, Oloume 9, Rojas 9, Fuentes 6, Formento 3, Ko. Caballero 2, Intic 0, Wamar 0.
Quarterscores: 22-19; 34-37; 54-47; 75-60.