Juan Gomez de Liano and Jollo Go connived as Marinerong Pilipino made quick work of CEU, 75-66, in their quarterfinals showdown in the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup 2022 on Friday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
De Liano and Go showed why they are the scoring leaders in the tournament, this time unloading 17 points each to help the twice-to-beat Skippers shake off the pesky Scorpions midway through the final frame to arrange a semifinals showdown with Apex Fuel-San Sebastian.
With CEU riding an 8-2 opening run in the final frame to threaten Marinero and cut the lead down to just two, 51-49, after trailing by as many as 15 points, Go and De Liano along with Arvin Gamboa and Adrian Nocum delivered the killing blows that ultimately took the sting out of the Scorpions.
De Liano added eight assists and seven rebounds while Gamboa and Nocum provided ample support with 13 and 12 points, respectively.
The Skippers looked poised to break the game wide open and easily cruise to the victory after taking a commanding 19-4 lead early in the opening frame although the Scorpions found their mark to cut the lead down to eight, 37-29 at the break.
CEU tried to mount a comeback towards the end of the third frame and at the start of the fourth quarter behind the efforts of Lenard Santiago and Jhomel Ancheta who finished with 11 and 12 points, respectively.
Those efforts, however, went for naught as CEU’s leading scorer Jerome Santos went cold and was limited to just 10 points after averaging 16.9 points in the eliminations.