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Ex-pros Poligrates, Yee tow Marinerong Pilipino to semifinals

Eloy Poligrates led Marinerong Pilipino past AMA Online in their 2019 PBA D-League Foundation Cup quarterfinal game. PBA Media Group

Marinerong Pilipino booked the first semifinal ticket after booting out AMA, 100-78, in the 2019 PBA D-League Foundation Cup quarterfinals Thursday at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.

Eloy Poligrates led six Skippers in double-digit scoring with 19 points, to go with three rebounds, three assists, and three steals in the win that brought the Skippers back to the semis after missing the bus last conference.

Mark Yee produced 13 points and six rebounds, while JR Alabanza supplied 12 points and eight boards in the win.

Byron Villarias and Jhonard Clarito also had 11 points apiece as Rev Diputado added 10 markers for Marinerong Pilipino.

"Very thankful ako sa management dahil sa pagiging supportive nila, at sa players dahil tinrabaho nila 'tong laro na 'to kaya kami makakarating ng semifinals," said coach Yong Garcia.

From a narrow 17-14 lead in the opening quarter, Poligrates and Yee spearheaded a 15-0 blast to give the Skippers a 32-14 advantage early in the second frame to break the game wide open.

Marinerong Pilipino led by as many as 26, 68-42, after a Yee bucket with 4:49 left in the third canto before cruising on to the win.

"Masaya kami. Tatrabahuhin ulit namin yung semifinals para naman makarating kami sa Finals," said Garcia.

The Skippers now await the winner between Group B teams Technological Institute of the Philippines and Black Mamba Energy Drink for their foes in the best-of-three semis affair.

Aaron Black ended his PBA D-League campaign with 22 points, 4 rebounds, and five dimes to lead AMA.

Vince Tolentino had 13 points and five rebounds, while Andre Paras had 12 markers and 11 boards in the loss.

In the second game, Centro Escolar University obliterated Asia's Lashes Tomas Morato by 41 points, 89-48, to also cruise to the semifinals. Rich Guinitaran paced the Scorpions with 16 points and 14 rebounds to make the semis for the third straight conference dating back to the 2018 Foundation Cup.

Dave Bernabe provided 15 points and 10 rebounds as Senegalese center Malick Diouf filled up the stat sheet as he finished with 12 markers, 13 boards, four assists, two steals, and two blocks in the win.

"I just told the players to take care of things, do not take them lightly. We have to jump on them right away and not make them think of a Game Two," said coach Derrick Pumaren.

The Scorpions indeed jumped to a 21-9 start thanks to Guinitaran, Bernabe, and Diouf, before ending the first period ahead by 27, 43-16. The game would never be in question from then on as they cruised to the 41-point victory.

CEU's stifling defense limited the opposition to shoot just 28.6-percent from the field and also forced them to commit a total of 23 turnovers, which it converted to 25 easy points.

The Scorpions now await the winner between BRT Sumisip Basilan-St. Clare and Hyperwash in the other quarterfinal bracket for their opponents in the best-of-three semifinal series.

Jhygrus Laude was the lone double-digit scorer with 11 points to lead Asia's Lashes, who missed a total of five players in the contest including top floor general James Martinez.

The scores

First game

MARINERONG PILIPINO 100 -- Poligrates 19, Yee 13, Alabanza 12, Clarito 11, Villarias 11, Diputado 10, Reverente 8, McAloney 6, Santillan 4, Rios 4, Mangahas 2, Sara 0, Ilagan 0.

AMA 78 -- Black 22, Parcero 15, Tolentino 13, Paras 12, Fuentes 5, Alina 5, De Leon 4, Asuncion 2, Estibar 0, Catorce 0, Limpin 0, Austria 0.

Quarters: 24-14, 52-34, 75-49, 100-78.

Second game

CEU 89 -- Guinitaran 16, Bernabe 15, Diouf 12, Diaz 10, Santos 7, Tuadles 7, Tagal 7, De Ocampo 5, Sunga 5, Espiritu 3, Murillo 2, Escalona 0.

ASIA'S LASHES 48 -- Laude 11, Alban 6, Tadeo 6, Castro 5, Dela Cruz 5, Sabellina 5, Celada 3, Sarao 3, Reyes 2, Delfinado 2.

Quarters: 43-16, 57-23, 63-30, 89-48.