|Clement Leutcheu paced Go for Gold-CSB. PBA Media Bureau|
By Dugout Philippines
PASIG--Go for Gold got its act together late as it slipped past Gamboa Coffee Mix-St. Clare with a 75-68 win Monday in the 2018 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup at Pasig City Sports Center.
It was a total team effort for the Scratchers with veterans Jerwin Gaco and J-Jay Alejandro stabilizing their camp as they closed the game out with a 23-point finishing salvo.
Senegalese center Clement Leutcheu was a solid force for Go for Gold as he tallied 14 points, seven rebounds, and two blocks, while Gaco barely missed out on a double-double with his 13 markers and nine boards.
Justin Gutang also scored 10 points and 13 rebounds in the win, while Kent Salado had nine markers, five boards, four assists, and three steals before suffering an MCL sprain on his right knee with 2:48 to play in the third quarter.
Despite Salado’s absence in the payoff period, Go for Gold coach Charles Tiu praised his wards for its defensive effort late.
“We cut down our turnovers and we rebounded well, and then we executed very well,” he said.
The Scratchers had a lackluster start. They fell behind by 10 points early but rallied strong in the second half.
“We are a new team and hindi pa kami sanay sa isa’t isa. As you can see in the first half, ang dami naming turnovers because we're not that familiar with each other,” said Tiu.
“But I'm happy naman kasi the guys, we needed a test like this as a young team, to learn how to come from behind against a very good team like St. Clare.”
Aris Dionisio carried the load for the Coffee Lovers with 19 points and 13 rebounds, while Raymond Rubio had 11 markers and six boards in the defeat.
Go for Gold-CSB 75—Leutcheu 14, Gaco 13, Gutang 10, Salado 9, Naboa 8, Salem 8, Alejandro 5, Dixon 3, Pili 2, San Juan 2, Domingo 1
Gamboa-St. Clare 68—Dionisio 19, Rubio 11, Pare 10, Ambuludto 8, Hallare 6, Rebugio 6, Jackson 4, Acuno 2, Bitoon 2, Alcober 0
Quarterscores: 14-19, 30-33, 52-53, 75-68
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