CENTRO Escolar University tightened its grip on the top spot with a 90-85 victory over Perpetual Help in the PBA D-League Aspirants' Cup on Tuesday at the JCSGO Gym in Cubao.
The Scorpions rolled to their fourth consecutive victory for a 7-1 win-loss record, while Perpetual absorbed its fifth loss in seven outings.
Rich Guinitaran led all scorers with 27 points, Rod Ebondo added 22 points and 12 rebounds, and Joseph Manlangit had 16 markers.
"Yung mga players kahit ang dami naming lapses, talagang nag-focus sila," said CEU coach Yong Garcia.
Trailing by two with under two minutes left, Orlan Wamar squeezed through his defender for a basket that tied the match at 85.
Then the Scorpions hit five of eight bonus shots to take the win.
Prince Eze had the chance to bring Perpetual to within one, but botched a pair of free throws with 43 ticks remaining and CEU leading 88-85.
Eze had 23 points, 17 rebounds and four blocks for the Altas, who erased a 72-60 deficit and even led by two in the dying moments.
CEU 90 — Guinitaran 27, Ebondo 22, Manlangit 16, Fuentes 6, Aquino 5, Wamar 5, Cruz 4, Arim 3, Caballero 2, Opiso 0, Uri 0, Veron 0.
Perpetual 85 — Eze 23, Charcos 22, Aurin 14, Villanueva 9, Pido 5, Coronel 4, Mangalino 4, Peralta 4, Pascia 0, Tamayo 0.
Quarterscores: 23-19; 49-39; 72-60; 90-85.