MANILA – De La Salle University Green Archers hanged tough in the endgame to escape with a 71-67 victory over Centro Escolar University Scorpions in the 2019 Filoil Flying V Preseason Cup on Friday at San Juan Arena.
Encho Serrano spearheaded the attack with 18 points, four rebounds, and two assists, while Justine Baltazar added double-double 14 points and 10 boards for the Green Archers, which hiked their record to 3-1 in Group A.
From a tightly-contested game from the start, the Green Archers were clinging to a 69-64 advantage after an inside basket from Andrei Caracut with over a minute left in the match.
The Scorpion, however, did not easily give up as it cut the deficit to 67-69 on a three-pointer by Jan Formento. CEU had a chance to win it but Formento muffed his triple try before Serrano sealed the win for the Green Archers with a layup.
“Seasoned na ‘yang [CEU]. We’ve been expecting this kind of a game. We knew it was gonna be close. It’s just a matter for us of sticking to the game plan and following instructions,” said Green Archers interim coach Gian Nazario.
Formento finished with 22 points and three rebounds, while Senegalese center Maodo Malico Diouf nabbed 13 points and 14 boards for the Scorpions, which dropped to 2-1 card.
Meanwhile, San Sebastian College Golden Stags sent University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons crashing back to earth following a 73-64 stunner.
RK Ilagan drilled four treys to finish with 18 points to go along with five rebounds, and two assists, while Allyn Bulanadi added 16 points and seven boards for the Golden Stags./PN