BRT Sumisip Basilan-St. Clare thrived in a do-or-die match against Marinerong Pilipino to keep its title bid alive in the PBA D-League Foundation Cup yesterday.
The Saints got back at the Skippers, scoring an empathic 74-60 victory in Game 2 of their best-of-3 finals duel for the season-ending crown at The Astrodome.
Burly big man Jessie Collado showed the way for the Saints with 20 points and six rebounds while Joshua Fontanilla chipped in 14 markers, boards, and three assists.
Malian import Mohamed Pare and Jhaps Bautista also tossed in 12 and 10 points, respectively as the Saints evened the series at 1-1 and forged a rubber match.
The deciding game is set next Monday at the Paco Arena in Pasig.
The Saints battled back from a 59-69 loss in Game 1 last Oct. 3.
The Saints simply refused to lose, according to coach Stevenson Tiu.
“Ganoon talaga sa basketball. As long as we have a chance to win, talagang ipapanalo namin. Ganoon ang teaching natin sa mga bata ngayon,” said Tiu.
“We keep on reminding them na hangga’t may game, we have a chance to win,” he added.St. Clare zoomed to a fast start and took its biggest lead at 46-22 on an Alfred Batino basket with 26.6 seconds remaining in the second quarter before settling for a 46-24 spread at the half.
The Saints were still in command 62-43 going into the payoff period and hardly met any resistance from the Skippers, who absorbed their first loss after 10 matches, from there.
Byron Villarias was the lone bright spot for Marinerong Pilipino with 11 points.
Newly-minted MVP and former pro Eliud Poligarates was also held to measly two points.
“Obviously, mas may energy kami ngayon especially on defense,” added Tiu.