IMPRESSIVE DEBUT. Justine Baltazar lifts newcomer EcoOil-La Salle to an impressive 102-90 win against Wangs-Letran at the start of the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan City on Monday (March 2, 2020). Baltazar scored 16 points and grabbed 12 rebounds. (Photo courtesy of PBA Media Group)

MANILA – Newcomer EcoOil-La Salle introduced itself to the PBA D-League with a 102-90 statement win over Wangs-Letran at the start of the season-opening Aspirants Cup at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan City on Monday.

The Green Archers brought their trademark Pumaren pressure defense against the Knights, forcing them to early turnovers as they eventually held a lead as high as 19 points, 53-34, in the second quarter.

Wangs-Letran made huge adjustments in the second half, eventually cutting the lead down to just six, 75-69, early in the fourth quarter, but EcoOil-La Salle held on and even stretched its lead back to 15, 99-84, with 41 seconds left.

Encho Serrano led the Green Archers to the win against their old rivals with 19 points, eight rebounds, and three assists off the bench.

Justine Baltazar added 16 points, 12 rebounds, three assists, and two blocks also off the bench.

Fran Yu fired 24 points, four rebounds, five assists, and two steals for the Knights.

Ato Ular added 13 points, 15 rebounds, one block, and two steals off the bench.

Meanwhile, the Gomez De Liaño brothers took over for Marinerong Pilipino as the lone non-collegiate team in this year's PBA D-League Aspirants Cup opened its campaign with a 93-57 mauling of Karate Kid-Centro Escolar University.

New recruit Juan Gomez De Liano led the Skippers with 21 points on 7-of-12 shooting, seven rebounds, four assists, and one steal as they zapped the Scorpions from the get-go.

"Masaya ako especially kay Juan dahil nag-take charge siya (I’m happy especially for Juan because he took charge)," said coach Yong Garcia of Gomez de Liano's performance.

On the other hand, Javi Gomez De Liano added 18 markers, going 12-for-12 from the free throw line, five rebounds, one assist, and two blocks.

Koko Pingoy led Karate Kid-CEU with 13 points, two rebounds, one assist, and a steal. (PNA)