<
>

St. Clare, Go for Gold clinch PBA D-League playoff berths

Joshua Fontanilla of St. Clare goes for a one-hander in the 2019 PBA D-League. PBA Media Bureau

St. Clare College-Virtual Reality punched its ticket to the 2019 PBA D-League quarterfinals, drubbing AMA Online Education, 119-89, Tuesday at JSCGO Gym in Cubao.

Joshua Fontanilla and Darwin Lunor teamed up for the Saints' first quarter flurry where they took a 35-20 advantage and never looked back.

The diminutive Fontanilla fired 11 of his 16 points in the first half, on top of six rebounds and five assists, while Lunor added 13 to his name as well as collecting six boards and three assists to banner the seven players which got to double-digits.

"We just wanted to end the eliminations on a good note. I hope we can bring this to the next phase," said coach Jinino Manansala as St. Clare wrapped up its assignments to end up at 6-3 in the Aspirants Group.

Irven Palencia and John Ambuludto combined for 28 in the win as the lead swelled to as high as 33, 76-43, in the third period.

The Saints now sit idle at third place in the pool, but can still move up to the no. 2 spot and own a twice-to-beat edge if Family Mart-Enderun upsets Ironcon-UST on Thursday.

In the process, Petron-Letran (6-3) has also been eliminated after owning an inferior quotient.

Joshua Munzon led AMA (2-7) with 27 points, 13 rebounds, four assists, and three steals.

Franky Johnson chipped in 19, while Troy Rike had a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds.

In the first game, Go for Gold-CSB also clinched a seat in the playoffs, dismantling McDavid, 119-101.

Clement Leutcheu and Edward Dixon teamed up in the Scratchers' early spurt as they took a quick 37-21 advantage.

The lead swelled to as high as 31 as McDavid had no answers to Go for Gold-CSB's onslaught.

"We're happy we made it to the quarterfinals," said coach Charles Tiu. "That's one of our goals this conference because it's a very stacked conference."

Leutcheu topped the balanced attack with 19 points, nine rebounds, three assists, and three steals, as Dixon scored 10 of his 16 points in that opening frame.

Roosevelt Adams chipped in 13 points and 10 rebounds, while Justin Gutang har 12 points, six assists, and three boards to rise to 6-3 in the Aspirants Group.

Jeremiah Pangalangan, Prince Carlos, and James Pasturan all contributed 11 points apiece for the Scratchers to finish their eliminations campaign on a high.

McDavid, meanwhile, exited the tourney with a 1-8 slate.

Jason Melano led the squad with 26 points and seven rebounds, while Jerwin Gaco had 20 in the defeat.