BRT Sumisip Basilan-St. Clare College forced a winner-take-all match after hacking out a wire-to-wire 74-60 victory over Marinerong Pilipino behind Jesse Collado in Game Two of the 2019 Philippine Basketball Association Developmental League (PBA D-League) Foundation Cup finals on Wednesday at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City.
Veteran forward Collado played through a nagging hamstring injury as he fired a game-high 20 points on an efficient 8-of-11 shooting clip, keeping the Saints’ maiden D-League title hopes alive.
“He (Collado) is not feeling well that’s why his game was on and off. But that’s the challenge for him. He wants to win a championship in the D-League,” said BRT Sumisip-St. Clare veteran coach Stevenson Tiu of his seasoned cager, who also hauled down six rebounds.
Tiu’s team avenged its 69-59 defeat to Marinero in the best-of-three titular series opener last Thursday as the Saints spoiled the Skippers’ bid of a tournament sweep.
“Obviously, we showed more energy this time,” said the three-time finalist Tiu.
Game Three is set on Monday at the Paco Arena in Manila.
Shifty guard Joshua Fontanilla chipped in 14 points and five assists, Malian big man Mohammed Pare pumped in a 12-marker, 10-rebound double-double while Japs Bautista added 11 points in the series-tying win.
Sumisip-St. Clare seized the driver seat early after Collado drained 16 points in the first two quarters for a 46-22 lead.
Marinero trimmed the gap down to 34-48 as Dan Sara hit a triple to cap a 12-2 run to start the second half.
The Saints regained control, 72-50, on Bautista’s trey with 3:51 left in the game and never looked behind from there.
Byron Villarias was the lone double-digit scorer with 11 points for Marinero while Conference MVP Eloy Poligrates, who was recognized prior to tipoff, played lackluster with two markers and six turnovers.