James Martinez catches fire as Go for Gold blasts Batangas for rousing D-League start
James Martinez catches fire in the third period where his team pulled away. Dante Peralta

GO for Gold denied a late uprising from Batangas to escape with an 88-75 win on Monday in the 2018 PBA D-League Foundation Cup at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.

James Martinez commandeered the Scratchers’ third-quarter storm, firing nine of his 18 points as his side broke the game wide open in the second half to take a 19-point advantage, enough cushion to deny the Generals’ belated rally in the endgame.

Ron Dennison also had 10 points and five boards in Go for Gold’s balanced attack, as Gab Banal and Jerwin Gaco both kept the paint steady with their combined 18 points and 19 rebounds.

Though it was a convincing win from the Scratchers’ side, coach Charles Tiu admitted that with little time to practice, his team had to depend on the players’ individual skills.

“I’m still not satisfied. It’s probably only our fourth time to play as a complete team and we haven’t been practicing because of the individual commitments of the players,” he said.

Tiu, however, maintained his belief that Go for Gold is still bound for big things this conference.

“We know what we can do and our goal is to win a championship,” he said. “Unfortunately, we’re still far from that. It’s a given that we have the talent in this team, so the challenge for us is to have more practice time to get familiar with each other and learn to play the proper way.”

Diminutive Cedric de Joya was the biggest man on the court for Batangas, leading his squad with 18 points, three rebounds, and two assists in the loss.

 

The scores:

GO FOR GOLD 88 — Martinez 18, Dennison 10, Banal 9, Gaco 9, Porter 8, Desiderio 7, Reyes 7, Salem 6, Tolentino 6, Wong 5, Pili 3, Blardony 0, Castor 0

BATANGAS 75 — De Joya 18, Mendoza 13, Derige 12, Saldana 12, Dela Peña 6, Guian 6, Diolanto 4, Arim 2, Tabi 2, Delfinado 0, Manalo 0, Zamora 0

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Quarterscores: 19-17, 37-30, 63-47, 88-75

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