MARINERONG Pilipino downed Technological Institute of the Philippines, 96-79, to complete a sweep of their best-of-three semifinal battle in the 2019 PBA D-League Foundation Cup on Monday at Paco Arena in Manila.
Byron Villarias buried seven treys and finished with 25 points, including eight in a decisive 17-0 run that turned a slim 61-58 Skippers lead to a 78-58 edge to end the third period.
Jhonard Clarito produced 13 points, three rebounds and three assists, William McAloney had 11 points and seven boards, while Santi Santillan added 10 markers for Marinerong Pilipino.
"We're happy na nasa finals kami pero mas masaya siguro kung makuha namin yung championship," said coach Yong Garcia as Marinerong Pilipino made its first-ever Finals appearance.
The dam eventually broke in the payoff period as Skippers enjoyed a lead as high as 28 points, 92-64, following a Jordan Rios bucket with 6:36 left to play before cruising to the 17-point win, their ninth straight victory this conference.
"From the management, staff, and players, everybody nagbigay talaga ng effort para dito," said Garcia.
Marinerong Pilipino now awaits the winner between Centro Escolar University and BRT Sumisip Basilan-St. Clare in the other semis bracket.
Christian Daguro paced the Engineers with 17 points, four rebounds and two assists.
Senegalese big man Papa Ndiaye had 16 points, six rebounds, four assists and two blocks, as Guilber Carurucan had 15 markers and six assists.
Marinerong Pilipino 96 — Villarias 25, Clarito 13, McAloney 11, Santillan 10, Reverente 7, Rios 7, Poligrates 7, Solis 5, Diputado 4, Yee 3, Mangahas 2, Alabanza 2, Ilagan 0.
TIP 79 — Daguro 17, Ndiaye 16, Carurucan 15, De Mesa 9, Cenal 8, B. Santos 5, Tumalip 4, Tan 3, Monte 2, I. Santos 0, Pinca 0.
Quarterscores: 23-21; 47-40; 78-58; 96-79.