Riding their wave of momentum, the Marinerong Pilipino Skippers stunned the Tanduay Rhum Masters, 65-64, Tuesday afternoon at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City, and booked their ticket to the Foundation Cup semifinals.
“We’ve always been telling them on playing the game the right way. And in the end, the wisdom was there for the players,” said coach Koy Banal as the Skippers were able to replicate their 74-72 Game 1 win last Thursday. “When we were down by 10 in the start of the fourth quarter, the doubt was setting in. But we knew that we’ve been in this kind of situation before.”
Leading by one with 29.7 seconds left, Achie Iñigo botched his runner, but was fortunate to have Robbie Herndon secure the offensive board as Marinerong Pilipino wasted the remainder of the clock to move on to the Final Four.
“Good thing in our last possession, we got the offensive rebound and the players had the presence of mind to spread out and run down the clock,” said Banal.
Herndon led the Skippers with 13 points, 13 rebounds, and two steals, including the go-ahead basket with 2:14 remaining.
Renzo Subido unfurled all of his 11 markers in the payoff period, as the diminutive guard triggered the 17-2 tear to comeback from a 10-point deficit, 56-46.
John Lopez chipped in 10 points and seven rebounds, while Iñigo had nine markers, three boards, and two assists.
Jerwin Gaco paced Tanduay with 17 points and three rebounds, while Lester Alvarez got 11 markers, three boards, and three assists in the losing effort.
The fifth-seed Skippers defied the twice-to-win disadvantage and pulled off the shocker against the Rhum Masters, as they now proceed to the semifinals where they will face second-seed Cignal HD Spikers in a best-of-three series on Thursday.
Marinerong Pilipino 65 – Herndon 13, Subido 11, Lopez 10, Iñigo 9, Isip 7, Sargent 6, Alabanza 4, Marata 3, Gabriel 2, Javelona 0, Javillonar 0.
Tanduay 64 – Gaco 17, Alvarez 11, Taganas 9, Martinez 5, Tambeling 5, Palma 4, Eguilos 3, Sanga 2, Santos 2, Sollano 2, Varilla 2, Villamor 2.
Quarterscores: 15-20, 31-39, 46-56, 65-64.