by Jonas Terrado
(Ynares Sports Arena, Pasig City)
3 p.m. – Zark’s Burgers vs Marinero
5 p.m. – Tanduay vs Wangs Basketball
Centro Escolar University overcame the absence of Rod Ebondo due to sickness and slipped past Gamboa Coffee, 100-96, yesterday to enhance its quarterfinals bid in the PBA D-League Foundation Cup at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
Rich Guinitaran scored eight of his 24 points in the fourth quarter as the Scorpions recovered from losing a 16-point lead in the third to bounce back from Tuesday’s 91-79 loss to the league-best Flying V Thunder.
Patrick Aquino added 18 points, Orlan Wamar delivered 16 points, 11 assists and five rebounds and Mark Cruz chipped in 10 points and six rebounds for the Scorpions, who improved to 5-3 for joint fourth with Wangs Basketball despite playing sans Ebondo due to pneumonia.
Ebondo, who had been in sick bay since last week, was in full battle gear but coach Yong Garcia opted to give his prized import a rest.
“Our big men stepped up kahit wala si Ebondo, binigay nila yung best nila para manalo,” said Garcia, whose frontline was able to frustrate Gamboa inside after trailing 13 at the end of the first quarter.
CEU blew an 85-69 lead when Gamboa went on a 19-3 run that ended with a three by playing coach Leo Avenido with 3:12 remaining in the fourth.
But Guinitaran answered with a triple before converting a jumper to give CEU a breathing room, 93-88, 2:23 left.
Avenido scored 16 of his game-high 28 points in the fourth but the Coffee Lovers dropped to a tie with the Zark’s Burgers Jawbreakers for the league’s worst record at 1-7.
Meanwhile, former PBA star Mac Cardona signed a contract to play for Zark’s in its remaining two games beginning with today’s 3 p.m. match with Marinerong Pilipino at the same venue.
Zark’s management yesterday announced the signing of Cardona, who last saw action for NLEX last year but suffered through hard times after being hospitalized.