Centro Escolar University clinched a playoff spot in the 2018 PBA D-League Aspirants' Cup with a 90-85 decision over Perpetual on Tuesday at JCSGO Gym in Cubao, Quezon City.
CEU broke a close game open in the second quarter behind their near flawless shooting from 3-point range. The Scorpions went 5 of 8 from three in the period and 11 of 25 for the game.
Rich Guinitaran tallied 27 points to lead the Scorpions to their fourth straight victory and seventh overall in eight games.
Rod Ebondo finished with a double-double of 22 points and 12 rebounds while Joseph Manlangit lead a solid support by the reserves with 16 points.
The Scorpions controlled the game throughout, thanks to the solid effort of its bench which outscored Perpetual's reserves, 56-13.
"All the credit goes to my players. Talagang kahit ang dami naming lapses, nag-focus sila. They are really determined to win," said coach Yong Garcia.
Prince Eze scored 23 points and grabbed 17 rebounds in another impressive performance and Edgar Charcos contributed 22 but the duo couldn't save the Altas from absorbing their fifth loss in seven games.
Keith Pido gave the Altas a 19-18 lead late in the opening quarter before Ebondo and Guinitaran scored the next five points to put CEU ahead, 23-19 after one quarter.
Perpetual regained the lead at 31-30 on four straight points by Kim Aurin before Guinitaran took over.
The streak shooting guard went 7 of 9 including 4 of 4 from behind the arc to spark CEU's breakaway.
His 13 points during a 19-8 run gave the CEU a commanding 49-39 lead at halftime and never trailed again.
CEU 90 -- Guinitaran 27, Ebondo 22, Manlangit 16, Fuentes 6, Aquino 5, Wamar 5, Cruz 4, Arim 3, Caballero 2, Opiso 0, Uri 0, Veron 0.
PERPETUAL 85 -- Eze 23, Charcos 22, Aurin 14, Villanueva 9, Pido 5, Coronel 4, Mangalino 4, Peralta 4, Pascia 0, Tamayo 0.
Quarters: 23-19, 49-39, 72-60, 90-85.