WANGS Basketball-Letran built a lead big enough to fend off a late Go for Gold-CSB rally and come away with a 91-88 victory in the PBA D-League Aspirants' Cup on Monday at the JCSGO Gym in Cubao.
The Couriers saw a 13-point lead disappear as the Scratchers made one final push to pull to within one, 89-88 after Jjay Alejandro's three-pointer with 11.4 ticks remaining.
But time wasn't on Go for Gold's side, with Justin Gutang forcing a shot from way beyond the arc that went short as time expired.
The Couriers rolled to their third straight victory for a 5-2 win-loss record, while handing Go for Gold its fifth loss in nine games.
Bong Quinto was at the forefront of Wangs' attack, churning out 17 points, nine rebounds, and five assists.
Rey Publico had 14 markers including two pressure-packed free throws that gave the Couriers an 89-85 lead with 21 seconds to go, while Bonbon Batiller chipped in 12.
"Dami naming tinapon na crucial. Luckily nag-prevail pa rin defense namin at nakuha namin panalo," said Wangs coach Jeff Napa.
Yankee Haruna paced the Scratchers with 20 points, seven rebounds, and two assists.
New boy Paul Desiderio made immediate impact in his first game, finishing with 15 points, seven of which he poured in the fourth period where the Couriers mounted its comeback bid.
Alejandro scored 13 points, hauled down seven boards, and dished out two assists.
WANGS BASKETBALL-LETRAN 91 — Quinto 17, Publico 14, Batiller 12, Mandreza 10, Fajarito 8, Muyang 8, Ambohot 7, Balanza 7, Calvo 6, Taladua 2, Yu 0.
GO FOR GOLD 88 — Haruna 20, Desiderio 15, Alejandro 13, Gutang 13, Dixon 8, Leutcheu 8, Naboa 5, Pasturan 3, Salem 3, Gaco 0.
Quarterscores: 20-18, 43-48, 68-62, 91-88.