Saints, Scorpions gain edge

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    BRT Sumisip Basilan-St. Clare dismantled hapless Black Mamba yesterday on its way to shattering league records and realizing a coveted goal in the PBA D-League Foundation Cup.

    The Saints scored a merciless 161-122 beatdown of the Energy Drink to clinch the top spot in Group B that comes with a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals of the season-ending tourney at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.

    Six-foot-6 Malian import Mohamed Pare wound up with a double-double of 31 points and 19 rebounds while Joseph Peñaredondo had 25 markers spiked by six three-pointers for BRT Sumisip Basilan-St. Clare.

    Darwin Lunor, Irven Palencia, Raymond Rubio, and Junjie Hallare also added 16, 12, 12, and 11 points, respectively as the Saints remained unbeaten with a 5-0 card. Black Mamba fell to 3-2.

    In the other game, Centro Escolar University destroyed Hazchem 126-76 to also gain a twice-to-beat edge in the quarters.

    Dave Bernabe scored 19 points and grabbed six rebounds for the Scorpions while 6-foot-11 Senegalese center Maodo Malick Diouf also had 19 markers and 21 boards.

    The Saints scored the most points in league history at 161, breaking the 144 points set by the Vipers in their 144-138 triumph over the Stallions last August 19.

    BRT Sumisip Basilan-St. Clare’s 95-point second half eruption was also the most points scored in a half, surpassing Tanduay’s 83-point second-half explosion in its 141-65 win over Zark’s in 2017. Its 53 fourth quarter points tied the Rhum Masters’ third quarter output in their 113-71 shellacking of Gamboa Coffee in 2017 for the most points in one quarter.

    Understandably, Saints coach Stevenson Tiu was elated as his wards will go into the playoffs with a win-once bonus.

    “Of course, kahit sinong coach masaya with that advantage for the playoffs,” said Tiu.