MANILA– Centro Escolar University Scorpions survived a late scare from Metropac-San Beda University Red Lions to score an 80-77 upset in the 2019 PBA D-League at Paco Arena in Manila.
Judel Fuentes led the way with 20 points, including four triples, on Monday night.
Senegalese Maodo Malick Diouf added a double-double of 17 points and 23 rebounds.
With the win, the Scorpions improved to 3-0 win-loss slate.
But it needed to survive a scare from the Red Lions as the latter waged a rally from 30-points down, 65-35, and got to within one, 78-77 after Donald Tankoua scored down low in the final 16.1 seconds.
Fuentes then rose to the occasion. He had a game-sealing steal on Red Lions’ James Canlas before sealing the victory with two free throw conversions with 2.2 seconds remaining.
“I’m still proud with the way the boys played. At least, we can say that we’re at par with them,” said Scorpions head coach Frederick Pumaren. “I give it to the boys. We kept our poise in the end and made stops when we needed them.”
Tankoua finished with double-double 22 points and 14 rebounds while Canlas contributed 21 markers for the NCAA champions Red Lions, which dropped to 2-1 win-loss card.
Meanwhile, Valencia City Bukidnon-San Sebastian College Recoletos stretched its unbeaten run in the tournament after an 82-73 victory over the SMDC-National University Bulldogs.
RK Ilagan caught fire and erupted for 14 of his 30 points in the fourth quarter, alongside four assists, three rebounds, and three steals in the win that kept the Valencia City unbeaten with their 3-0 win-loss record./PN