March 02, 2020

EcoOil-La Salle fends off late Wangs-Letran rally for opening day win

Games Thursday at Ynares Sports Arena, Pasig
1 p.m. - AMA Online Senior High vs APEX Fuel Mindanao-SSCR
3 p.m. - Builders Warehouse-UST vs TIP
5 p.m. - Family Mart-Enderun vs Seaoil-FEU

ECOOIL-La Salle staved off a late rally from Wangs-Letran, 102-90, to notch the opening day win in the 2020 PBA D-League Aspirants' Cup Monday at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.

Balanced was the attack for the Green Archers as they gave new head coach Derrick Pumaren his first win at the helm.

Encho Serrano topped EcoOil-La Salle with 19 points, eight rebounds, three assists, as backcourt partner Aljun Melecio scored 15 points built on four treys, alongside eight assists, and six boards.
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Justine Baltazar was also a force in the paint with his double-double of 16 points, 12 rebounds, three assists and two blocks, while Senegalese center Amadou Ndiaye got himself 12 points, eight boards, and two rejections.

Also stepping up was sophomore Joshua David, who contributed 12 points, eight assists, six rebounds, two steals, and two blocks for the Green Archers.

It was an impressive showing for EcoOil-La Salle, which used a 17-6 start to run away with the game early and taste a 19-point lead, 53-34, late in the second quarter.

However, fouls kept the window open for Wangs-Letran as Fran Yu buoyed his side back and got to within six, 84-78, with 5:27 left.

Serrano, Melecio, and Baltazar, however, had other plans as they staged an 8-2 blast to restore order, 92-80 with 3:55 remaining to run away with the victory.
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"We're still far from the form that I want them. We've been making mistakes defensively and we've been fouling a lot, so it's still a long way to go for us," said Pumaren.

Yu anchored the Knights with 24 points, five assists, four rebounds, and two steals, while Kenny Rocacurva had 15 points, four dimes, and three boards.

Wangs-Letran sorely missed the presence of big men Larry Muyang and Christian Fajarito as it opened up the conference on a bad note. (RL)

The Scores:

ECOOIL-LA SALLE 102 -- Serrano 19, Baltazar 16, Melecio 15, David 12, Ndiaye 12, Manuel 9, Hill 6, Bartlett 6, Vales 5, Cu 2, Bates 0.
WANGS-LETRAN 90 -- Yu 24, Rocacurva 15, Ular 13, Mina 12, Reyson 9, Javillonar 8, Ambohot 4, Brutas 3, Guarino 2, Pambid 0, Ariar 0, Monje 0, Banez 0.
Quarters: 24-15, 55-40, 75-63, 102-90.