PBA D-LEAGUE: EcoOil La Salle makes easy work of Keanzel in a near-doubling of points

EcoOil La Salle annihilated the lowest-seeded Keanzel Basketball Team, securing their fourth-straight victory with a margin of over 25 points in the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup, 144-75, earlier tonight, April 11, at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City. With this win, the Green-and-White have clinched an automatic semifinal berth after securing a top-two spot in the standings.

Mike Phillips could not be contained by the Believers as he topped the scoreboard with 22 points and 12 rebounds on an efficient 78.6-percent shooting. Meanwhile, CJ Austria and Jonnel Policarpio chipped in double-digits with 17 and 16 markers, respectively.

In a losing effort, Alfren Gayosa led the scoring for the Keanzel Basketball Team as he contributed 16 points. While Dominic Panlilio and Denzel Wong both had 11 points of their own.

Look up to the giants

The Lasallians found their advantage in their superior physical stature as they grabbed points inside the paint, with Raven Cortez and Phillips finding easy shots before the Believers called their first timeout, 18-3. After the break, the Green Archers tightened their perimeter as they activated their zone defense and kept their hands active to force turnovers. This proved effective as it increased their time on the ball and even catapulted their range as Vhoris Marasigan and Earl Abadam hit three-pointers, 31-10. Last match’s Player of the Game, Policarpio, put the cherry on top of the sweet start as he closed out the first quarter with a fastbreak layup to give the DLSU a massive 20-point lead, 34-14.

The white shirts entered the second quarter with more confidence as they found a formula to limit the green shirts, clogging the paint to prevent easy baskets. Despite the attempt to corner them, the Green-and-White still found their way inside as the Policarpio and Phillips duo used the paint to convert short-range shots while their guards spaced the floor with threatening perimeter shots, 43-25. With much of the Believers’ focus on the Lasallian bigs, Austria found room to show off his perimeter-driving skills as he scored nine points in the final three minutes of the quarter, propelling his team to the halftime break with a 21-point cushion, 63-42.

Rigor mortis

The absence of a mercy rule prevented Keanzel’s safety from an onslaught as they were punished by the Green Archers’ suffocating one-two-two press defense, which allowed DLSU to get easy buckets off turnovers and in transition. In a span of five minutes, the Green-and-White uncorked a huge 19-2 run that was highlighted by Phillips unleashing four consecutive statement slams, 84-44. La Salle’s massacre ensued with their ironclad defense resulting in conversions on offense—earning them a near 50-point lead with two minutes remaining in the third quarter, 99-50. Although John Maurillo tried to bring the white shirts back to life with his scores from a distance, the Green Archers remained unfazed as Jcee Macalalag sank a buzzer-beating layup to end the frame, 105-58.

In the final canto, the Green-and-White relentlessly pursued the bottom-ranked team with their signature blindside trapping scheme, forcing Keanzel into committing several turnovers that led to a 125-69 tally at the 5:27 mark. Playing with his food, EJ Gollena took the helm of the offense and cashed in eight points to give his side an outrageous 72-point advantage, 144-72. A last-second three-pointer from Keanzel made the score more respectable by deterring them from suffering a loss margin that doubled their score. Using a bully-ball playstyle from start to finish, the green shirts earned themselves a trouble-free victory and ruthlessly left their opponents to rot, 144-75.

As they look to sweep the Elimination Round, EcoOil La Salle will have to go all out in their fixture against the reigning NCAA Season 99 champions Marinerong Pilipino-San Beda on Thursday, April 18, at 7:30 pm at the same venue.

The Scores:

DLSU 144 – Phillips 22, Austria 17, Policarpio 16, Gaspay 13, Gollena 12, Marasigan 11, Cortez 11, Buensalida 9, Macalalag 7, Abadam 7, Alian 7, David 5, Daja 5, Rubico 2

Keanzel 75 – Gayosa 16, Panlilio 11, Wong 11, Maurillo 10, Ceniza 6, Baclig 6, Villamor 4, Yambap 3, Alina 3, Alota 2, Ibo 2, Advincula 1, Camay 0, Romero 0

Quarter Scores: 34-14, 63-42, 105-58, 144-75

Jaden Alberto

By Jaden Alberto

Daniel Quiroga

By Daniel Quiroga

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