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    Viernes delivers as Che'Lu frustrates Go for Gold in Finals opener

    Aug 9, 2018
    Jeff Viernes carried the Revellers on his back in the series opener.
    PHOTO: dante peralta

    JEFF Viernes once again went ablaze and rescued Che’Lu Bar and Grill in the second half to take a 100-96 Game One victory over Go for Gold and gain headstart in the 2018 PBA D-League Foundation Cup Finals Thursday at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.

    The super scorer unloaded 27 of his 34 points in the Revellers’ superb second-half rampage as they battled back from a 15-point first half deficit, 59-44.

    “They simply didn’t want to lose. Sa halftime, walang gustong mag-back down. After that, nakita ninyo yung transformation started sa third quarter,” said coach Stevenson Tiu.

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    Viernes went on an 11-of-22 clip from the field, while also pouring eight rebounds, three assists, and two steals.

    The win, however, almost fell out of the Revellers’ grip after a cramping Viernes missed a pair of foul shots with 12.3 ticks left, keeping the window open for the Scratchers, 99-96. But Jai Reyes went short on his potential game-tying trey as Chris Bitoon iced the game with a split from the charity stripe.

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    Bitoon finished with 22 points and seven rebounds, Jessie Collado got 13 points, four boards, and three assists, and JayR Taganas just missed out on a double-double with his nine points and 10 rebounds.

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    Che’Lu aims to gain a decisive 2-0 lead in the best-of-five series on Tuesday.

    Go for Gold leaned on Gab Banal, who flirted with a triple-double to the tune of 24 points, 13 rebounds, and seven assists.

    Reyes and Kris Porter both had 11 markers in the losing cause for the Scratchers.

    The scores:

    CHE’LU BAR AND GRILL 100 – Viernes 34, Bitoon 22, Collado 13, Taganas 9, Hernandez 7, Siruma 7, Melano 4, Ruaya 4, De Joya 0, Sta. Ana 0.

    GO FOR GOLD 96 – Banal 24, Porter 11, Reyes 11, Tolentino 10, Canada 8, Gaco 8, Salem 7, Publico 6, Wong 5, Dennison 3, Desiderio 3.

    Quarters: 21-33, 46-59, 73-85, 100-96.

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    Jeff Viernes carried the Revellers on his back in the series opener.
    PHOTO: dante peralta
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