July 26, 2018

Che'Lu Bar and Grill tops elimination round

Levi Hernandez seemingly couldn't miss for Che'Lu Bar and Grill as he led the bombardment of Go for Gold, 74-68, Thursday at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig and finish the eliminations of the 2018 PBA D-League Foundation Cup on top.

The former TNT KaTropa forward pumped five triples off nine shots as he led the Revellers with 23 points and seven rebounds.

Ten of Hernandez' points came in the fourth quarter, where Che'Lu staved off the late uprising from Go for Gold, capped off by the dagger pull up jumper from Jeff Viernes with 23.2 seconds left that gave his side a 73-68 lead.

Viernes also did his part with eight points, seven rebounds, and six assists.

Jessie Collado just missed out on a double-double with 13 points and nine rebounds, while also dishing out a pair of assists, nabbing two steals, and rejecting a pair of shots.

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"We needed this kind of game para preparation namin sa semifinals," said coach Stevenson Tiu. "Kailangan namin ma-push to the limit para makita namin yung weakness namin."

Che'Lu (8-2) will meet four-seed CEU (5-5) in the best-of-three semifinals, while sending Go for Gold (7-3) to a semis date against three-seed Marinerong Pilipino-TIP (6-4). Final Four begins on Tuesday.

Matt Salem contributed 16 points, five rebounds, and three assists for the Scratchers, but his two misses from downtown in the last two minutes proved to be costly as those botches failed to push his side up front in the curcial stretches of the game.

Vince Tolentino had 12 and five, as Jai Reyes and Rey Publico combined for 20.

The Scores:
CHE'LU BAR AND GRILL 74 - Hernandez 23, Collado 13, Melano 9, Siruma 8, Viernes 8, Flores 5, Taganas 5, Ng 3, Lao 0, Mallari 0, Ng 0, Ochea 0, Ruaya 0, Sta. Ana 0.
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GO FOR GOLD 68 - Salem 16, Tolentino 12, Publico 10, Reyes 10, Banal 5, Porter 5, Gaco 4, Wong 4, Castor 2, Pili 0.

Quarters: 13-16, 31-31, 56-50, 74-68.