Samboy de Leon stars as Che'Lu-SSC beats Zark's-Lyceum in Aspirants Cup finals opener
Samboy de Leon and four other Revellers score in double figures. Dante Peralta

SAMBOY de Leon buried the crucial baskets for Che’Lu Bar and Grill-San Sebastian beat Zark’s-Lyceum, 107-103, on Tuesday to take Game One of the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup finals at the Pasig Sports Center.

De Leon finished with a team-high 18 points, hitting a triple that broke a 101-101 tie with 1:19 left in the fourth.

The Jawbreakers were unable to convert on their next possessions, and the Revellers went on to take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three finals.

Che’Lu aims for a sweep of the finals series in Game Two on Thursday at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.

“Both teams deserved to win. Siguro nung endgame lang, mas maganda lang ‘yung defense namin. But I think they will come back,” said Che’Lu coach Steve Tiu.

Che’Lu missed the services of Jeff Viernes, who has signed with GlobalPort in the PBA, but the Revellers managed to adjust.

Alfred Batino had 17 points and 10 rebounds, while Michael Calisaan, playing his second game since returning from an injury, added 15 points and 12 rebounds for the Revellers.

Zark’s Lyceum led 90-81 lead before Che’Lu came back with an 11-2 run, with De Leon tying the game with a triple.

De Leon, a former Magnolia and Meralco player, hit four of his five three-point attempts.

Jaycee Marcelino had 23 points, while Mike Nzeusseu had 19 points and 11 rebounds. CJ Perez had eight points including a lay-up off a turnover to give Zark’s a 101-100 lead.

The scores:

Che’Lu San Sebastian 107 - De Leon 18, Batino 17, Calisaan 15, Costelo 13, Bulanadi 13, Ilagan 9, Siruma 7, Collado 6, David 3, Faundo 2, Ablaza 2, Taganas 2, Capobres 0.

Zark’s-Lyceum 103 - JC Marcelino 23, Nzeusseu 19, Ayaay 13, JV Marcelino 10, Baltazar 9, Pretta 9, Perez 8, Serrano 5, Tansingco 3, Caduyac 2, Yong 2, Ibanez 0.

Quarterscores: 34-26; 55-57; 76-76; 107-103.

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