MANILA, Philippines — BRT Sumisip Basilan-St. Clare hung on to beat Marinerong Pilipino, 63-60, to claim the 2019 PBA D-League Foundation Cup Monday at Paco Arena in Manila.
Jhaps Bautista had 18 points and eight rebounds, including the pressure-packed split with 1.5 seconds remaining to seal the Saints' fate and claim their first title in the developmental ranks.
Leo Gabo also made his presence felt with 12 points, seven assists, and five rebounds, including the go-ahead trey with 3:21 left to give his side the 59-57 lead and set up the cardiac finish.
Alfred Batino contributed 11 markers, seven boards, and three dimes for BRT Sumisip-St. Clare.
"Di bumitaw ang mga bata even after we lost Game 1 by a big margin. 'Yun ang reward para sa amin," said coach Stevenson Tiu, who finally ended his dry spell and won his first ring in the PBA D-League after failed attempts last season with Che'Lu Bar and Grill.
"Yun ang wish ko for how many years sa D-League. Palagi akong second place but this one, 'yun ang difference dahil ngayon puro young ones na. Maybe it's destined for me."
The Saints already took a 61-58 lead after Bautista's freebies with 1:26 remaining, but Jhonard Clarito gave the Skippers hope as he inched them to within a point, 61-60, with 19.8 seconds to go.
Marinerong Pilipino seemed to be well on its way to a comeback after Bautista turned the ball over on an inbounds play, but Santi Santillan missed his lay-up off on the other end.
Joshua Fontanilla was able to collar the rebound with 12.4 seconds left but could only settle for a split that kept the window open for the Skippers.
Unfortunately, Mark Yee's three-pointer did not hit its target, leading to Bautista's game-icing free throws late.
Yee led Marinerong Pilipino with 17 points and 14 rebounds in the stinging defeat.
Clarito had a double-double as well with 13 points and 15 rebounds.
BRT SUMISIP-ST. CLARE 63 -- Bautista 18, Gabo 12, Batino 11, Pare 9, Fontanilla 5, Collado 2, Palencia 2, Dumapig 2, Hallare 2, Rubio 0.
MARINERONG PILIPINO 60 -- Yee 17, Clarito 13, Santillan 7, Poligrates 6, Sara 5, McAloney 3, Ayonayon 2, Rios 2, Alabanza 0, Villarias 0, Mangahas 0.
Quarter scores: 12-12, 24-22, 44-48, 63-60
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