CENTRO Escolar U escaped past Wangs Basketball @27 Striker-Letran in overtime, 92-85, to register its second straight win in the 2023 PBA D-League Aspirants' Cup Tuesday at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
CEU led , 74-73, in the last 21 seconds, when Diaz sank two free throws to give the Scorpions a 76-73 edge. But Letran's Kurt Reyson his a 3-point shot in the ensuing play to tie the count and force overtime.
Ron Rei Tolentino scored 10 of CEU's 16 points in the extra period highlighted by back-to-back treys as the Scorpions kept the Knights winless in two matches under new coach Rensy Bajar.
Ayodeji Victor Balogun collared 18 points and 18 rebounds plus four assists, two steals and a block while Anjord Cabotaje, Franz Ray Diaz and Jerome Santos threw in 15, 13 and 10 points, respectively for CEU, which improved to 2-1 record.
"With this win, it's our first time to beat a quality team like Letran. You dream of being in this situation eh, facing the three-time NCAA champion. It's a matter of embracing the opportunity and I'm happy that the boys stepped up," said coach Jeff Perlas.
Riding on a 107-68 breakthrough win against AMA Online, CEU held its ground against the three-peat NCAA champion for the majority of the match before capitalizing in the clutch behind Diaz's crucial freebies.
Tolentino took over in the extra period, scoring eight straight points capped by a 3-pointer to give the Scorpions an 84-81 lead with two minutes left. They were never threatened after that.
Reyson bannered the Knights with 27 points but his efforts were not enough as Letran fell to 0-2. (JBU)
CEU 92 - Tolentino 25, Balogun 18, Cabotaje 15, Diaz 13, Santos 10, Anagbogu 8, Bernabe 2, Pe?ano 1, Malicanao 0, Ferrer 0, Joson 0, Javier 0.
Wangs-Letran 85 - Reyson 27, Fajardo 17, Santos 10, Cuajao 9, Javillonar 7, Monje 7, Guariano 6, Bojorcelo 2, Ariar 0, Alarcon 0, Brillantes 0, Go 0.
Quarterscores: 16-14, 39-34, 58-56, 76-76, 92-85 (OT).