In a spectacular display of dominance, the Marinerong Pilipino-San Beda Red Lions unleashed a scintillating performance to defeat the Wangs-Letran Knights, 74-51, and force a deciding Game 3 in their semifinal matchup in the 2023 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup.
The Red Lions showcased their resilience and determination to keep their championship aspirations alive.
From the opening tip-off, San Beda came out firing on all cylinders. Led by the explosive scoring of Peter Alfaro, who poured in 20 points along with five rebounds and four assists, the Red Lions established an early lead. Determined to avoid a repeat of their Game 1 collapse, San Beda maintained their composure and executed their game plan flawlessly.
James Payosing and Jacob Cortez provided valuable contributions, adding 12 and 11 points, respectively, to the Red Lions’ scoring onslaught. Clifford Jopia, displaying his prowess on both ends of the court, recorded an impressive double-double with 11 points and 13 rebounds. The collective effort of San Beda’s players propelled them to a commanding lead, leaving no room for Letran to mount a comeback.
Head coach Yuri Escueta praised his team’s composure and intelligence in controlling the game’s flow. The Red Lions showcased a maturity and focus that was absent in Game 1, ensuring that they would not succumb to the pressure this time around. The players’ determination and resilience were evident as they executed the game plan to perfection.
Letran, on the other hand, struggled to find their rhythm in Game 2. After an outstanding performance in Game 1, Kurt Reyson was limited to just eight points, unable to replicate his previous scoring explosion.
The Knights, who had defeated the Red Lions in a thrilling overtime battle in Game 1, failed to find their footing in the face of San Beda’s suffocating defense.
With the series now tied at 1-1, both teams are bracing themselves for a thrilling Game 3 showdown. Marinerong Pilipino, although sporting a different lineup this season, is determined to avenge their loss in last year’s championship series against EcoOil-La Salle.
The finals rematch promises to be an intense battle as San Beda seeks redemption and a chance to claim the championship title.
The decisive Game 3 is set to take place on Thursday, June 22, at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig. The survivor of this hard-fought series will earn the right to face reigning champion EcoOil-La Salle in the finals.
As the anticipation builds, basketball enthusiasts eagerly await the clash between two formidable teams, ready to witness the birth of a new champion in the PBA D-League.
Marinerong Pilipino-San Beda 79 – Payosing 23, Cuntapay 11, Andrada 10, Alfaro 7, Jopia 7, Gallego 6, Puno 6, Visser 4, Cortez 3, Royo 2.
Wangs-Letran 65 – Reyson 19, Cuajao 13, Guarino 10, Santos 7, Tolentino 5, Morales 5, Go 4, Bojorcelo 0, Laquindanum 0, Ariar 0, Brillantes 0.
Quarters: 22-12, 46-29, 61-50, 79-65.