EcoOil-La Salle showed their dominance in Game 1 of the 2023 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup title series, defeating Marinerong Pilipino-San Beda with a convincing 108-82 victory at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
The defending champions displayed efficient defense, strong rebounding, and excellent shooting, putting themselves on the brink of a title repeat.
EcoOil-La Salle now stands just one win away from securing the best-of-three series and defending their championship. Another victory on Monday, in the same venue, would seal their back-to-back triumph.
Early in the game, Mark Nonoy showcased his scoring prowess, shooting 5-of-8 from the field and accumulating 14 points in the first half. Joshua David also made his mark by knocking down two crucial 3-pointers, igniting a 13-0 run that allowed the Green Archers to take control of the game.
After leading by 10 points in the first quarter, EcoOil-La Salle continued their relentless attack in the second period. They unleashed a 10-point unanswered streak, led by Nonoy and CJ Austria, extending their lead to a commanding 38-18 advantage. Nonoy’s late three-pointer in the second quarter propelled EcoOil-La Salle to their largest lead of the game at 59-27.
From that point on, the Red Lions struggled to mount a comeback as EcoOil-La Salle maintained their grip on the game.
Nonoy, despite missing his son’s first birthday and christening in Negros Occidental, used the sacrifice as motivation, dedicating the victory to his child. Michael Phillips led the scoring for La Salle with 19 points, while Nonoy contributed 16 points to the team’s winning effort. Austria added 13 points, and Kevin Quiambao chipped in with 12.
EcoOil-La Salle’s exceptional shooting performance was evident in the first half, as they shot 20-of-38 from the field. In contrast, the Red Lions struggled, converting only 12-of-35 attempts. The Green Archers also capitalized on turnovers, outscoring their opponents 21-12 in turnover points, and showcased their speed on the fast break, holding a commanding 23-2 edge in that category.
Despite a valiant effort from Jacob Cortez with 18 points and Damie Cuntapay and James Payosing contributing 16 and 13 points, respectively, for Marinerong Pilipino-San Beda, they were unable to overcome the deficit. The Red Lions will look to even the series in Monday’s crucial match.
Marinerong Pilipino-San Beda briefly held the lead at 6-5 following a three-point shot by Cuntapay early in the first quarter. However, it was the only time they would be in front as EcoOil-La Salle quickly took control of the game.
As EcoOil-La Salle inches closer to a back-to-back championship, Marinerong Pilipino-San Beda faces a daunting challenge in Game 2. They will need to regroup and devise a strategy to overcome the dominant performance of the defending champions. The stage is set for an exciting showdown on Monday as both teams vie for supremacy in the 2023 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup.
EcoOil-La Salle 108 – Phillips M. 19, Nonoy 16, Austria 13, Quiambao 12, Gollena 9, David 9, Nelle 7, Abadam 7, Alao 5, Nwanwko 4, Cortez 4, Phillips B. 3, Manuel 0, Escandor 0.
Marinerong Pilipino-San Beda 82 – Cortez 18, Cuntapay 16, Payosing 13, Royo 13, Andrada 8, Alfaro 6, Visser 4, Jopia 3, Tagala 1, Puno 0, Alloso 0, Jalbuena 0.