Marinerong Pilipino got off to a blazing start and never looked back to take down Apex Fuel-San Sebastian, 74-66, in Game 1 of their best-of-three semifinals series in the PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup 2022 Friday, Aug. 12, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Juan Gomez De Liano was on a class of his own as he flirted with a near triple-double in Game 1 against Apex Fuel-San Sebastian (PBA Images)

The Skippers blazed like a house on fire right off the gates with a 9-0 run which practically set the tone for the romp as they built a 21-8 advantage at the end of the first frame and even went to as many as 17 points towards the end of the contest.

Juan Gomez De Liano stamped his class anew with a near triple-double performance of 16 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists while it was the Mapua duo of Arvin Gamboa and Adrian Nocum who connived in the blistering start after scoring 13 of Marinero’s first quarter points.

Gamboa added 15 points and five rebounds while Nocum chipped with 12 points and seven boards. Jollo Go also had his share of the spotlight with 14 points and four assists.

The Stags refused to go down without a fight as they cut the lead down to just one, 21-20, in the second quarter, courtesy of a 12-0 blast, eight of which came from Ichie Altamirano who wound up with 12 points to lead his team.

Marinero, however, regained foothold towards the end of the first half and at the start of the third frame as it reestablished a double-digit spread it enjoyed for the rest of the ball game.

Source: Manila Bulletin (