|Rod Ebondo sizzled for the Scorpions. PBA Media Bureau|
By Dugout Philippines
PASIG--Congolese big man Rod Ebondo fired 31 points and had nine rebounds and Centro Escolar University stunned Marinerong Pilipino,104-93, to open its campaign in the 2018 PBA D-League Aspirants' Cup Monday at Ynares Sports Arena.
But the victory wasn't all Ebondo. The Scorpions' snipers made life miserable for the Skippers by hitting 12-of-30 from downtown.
Judel Fuentes accounted for three of those triple, going 3-of-8 from beyond the arc to wound up with 20 points.
His last five points in the final 1:22 helped CEU held fend off a late rally by the Skippers as the Mendiola-based squad made its presence felt.
Joseph Manlangit chipped in 19 points including eight in the fourth quarter, rebounds, while Orlan Wamar shot 11 markers, four rebounds, and three dimes.
The Scorpions seized control of the game and took a 19-point advantage, 62-43.
Marinerong Pilipino crawled back and even tied the game at 75, after an Achie Iñigo layup, but CEU went on with an 8-0 finishing kick in the frame to retake the 83-75 lead and go on cruise control from that point on.
"We had a good first half, but in the third quarter, nag-relax kami. I'm just glad na sinunod namin yung gameplan at naka-recover kami," said CEU coach Yong Garcia. "It's all credit to the players. Binigay nila yung best nila."
Rian Ayonayon saw his 24 points, eight rebounds, and two assists performance go down the drain as Marinerong Pilipino incurred its second straight defeat. Renzo Subido and Billy Robles both had 17 in the loss.
CEU 104 -- Ebondo 31, Fuentes 20, Manlangit 19, Wamar 11, Arim 9, Guinitaran 8, Cruz 4, Aquino 2, Caballero 0, Intic 0, Saber 0, Veron 0
MARINERONG PILIPINO 93 -- Ayonayon 24, Subido 17, Robles 17, Toth 10, Tratter 6, Iñigo 6, Paredes 6, Banal 5, Pasaol 2, Babilonia 0, Lopez 0, Terso 0
Quarters: 20-21, 55-41, 83-75, 104-93
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