Go For Gold-College of St. Benilde (CSB) has established its maiden winning streak on Thursday in the Philippine Basketball Association Developmental League (PBA D-League) Aspirants’ Cup 2018.
Coming off a 91-89 overtime win over heavyweight Centro Escolar University, the Scratchers notched a slim 106-109 win over Batangas-Emilio Aguinaldo College (EAC) at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
But head coach Charles Tiu admonished his wards despite the win. “We have a tendency to think that we’re better than who we really are,” said Tiu, whose squad trailed most of the game and only recovered in the final frame.
“I don’t know why our guys are thinking that way. We have never proven anything in the NCAA or in the D-League for us to think that we can take teams lightly because every team here is good.”
Tiu nevertheless lauded his Scratchers for clawing their way back from a 12-point deficit, 55-67, in the third period.
“It’s disappointing in that sense but we’re still happy that we got the win. They battled back despite Batangas controlling the game for the most part. The guys didn’t quit, so give them credit,” he said.
Tiu also praised Yankee Haruna for his conference-best performance of a game-high 23 points on top of five rebounds, three assists and three steals in a match that saw Go For Gold-CSB’s main gunners misfiring.
“He’s been playing better. We have some other leagues and he’s also been improving there. His energy is great, his athleticism. His outside shooting has improved so much,” said Tiu of the burly forward, who missed the previous season due to a shoulder injury.
The 24-year old Haruna’s improvements caught the eyes of his coach.
“And the leadership role, he’s matured a lot. We made him the team captain of our CSB team so he’s definitely taking on that role.”
Haruna’s output combined with veteran Jerwin Gaco’s double-double of 21 points and 10 rebounds powered Go For Gold to a share of No. 7 with Zark’s Burger-Lyceum of the Philippines University on a similar 4-3 win-loss slates.
Tiu, however, said that it’s still a long way to securing a seat in the playoffs.
“We’re still uncertain. We have to upset one of the better teams. The problem is, we’re going to face big teams such as Marinero, Zark’s-LPU and then Wangs. And also AMA, which has improved a lot,” he said.