PASIG CITY – Tanduay Light snapped out of its four-game losing skid via a 92-76 taming of the LiverMarin Guardians in continuing action from the 2015 PBA D-League Foundation Cup at the Ynares Sports Arena Thursday afternoon (April 30). In the second game, the AMA University Titans registered a monumental upset over the KeraMix Mixers, 107-80.
Benched in the first half by Coach Lawrence Chongson, forward Joseph Eriobu started the second half and quickly accounted for seven points as he combined with Aljon Mariano to extend their three-point halftime edge to 10 markers entering the final period, 69-59. It was during this stage that the Rhum Masters enjoyed their biggest lead of the game, 64-48.
The Guardians managed to close in, 71-78, on a pair of baskets each from Ryan Costelo and Jovit de la Cruz with 4:42 left on the clock. However, this was quickly neutralized by back-to-back triples from Roi Sumang and Mariano, 84-71, and 3:30 to go.
Eriobu was not finished as he scored Tanduay Light’s final eight points against a lone triple from Jamil Ortuoste to write finish to the game. The Rhum Masters improved to 2-4 while the Guardians fell to the bottom of the table at 1-5.
“I look at it as a minor win but I am thankful we ended our losing streak,” said Coach Chongson. “We could have won a game or two during the skid but I told my players that this win has given us hope of making the playoffs so we will give it our all in our remaining two games.”
Mariano led the Rhum Masters with 17 points and eight rebounds. Eriobu finished with 15 points and five rebounds in only 11 minutes of action with three other Rhum Masters hitting 10 or more points.
Former Tanduay Light player Choi Ignacio topped the Guardians with 19 points, 13 coming in the second period. Costelo followed with 15 markers as the only two Guardians in double-digits.
Entering the game outside of the playoff picture, the Titans used a strong start against the surprisingly sluggish Mixers by unloading 30 points in the first period alone for a 30-19 lead. The Mixers tasted the upper hand briefly after Marte Gil’s opening field goal, 2-0.
The blowout was on with starters Dexter Maiquez and Jerramy King puncturing the hoop from the inside and outside respectively. Back to the active list after a two-game hiatus, Jarelan Tampus came off the bench to sustain the starters’ attack with five points and it was an all-AMA show henceforth.
AMA continued its mind boggling offensive display by jacking their total to 59 by the halftime break. James Martinez found his range from three-point distance and Maiquez and Tampus continued to provide the support firepower for a 59-35 cushion.
There was no stopping the Titans’ rampage in the second half with Martinez and Maiquez still sizzling from all angles. Coach Mark Herrera found more weapons in Jaycee Asuncion who scattered 11 in the fourth canto and backup center Magi Sison who drained a pair triples.
“We worked hard in our last practice on defending against the KeraMix pick and roll” said Coach Herrera. “We have no problem with scoring, it’s our defense that needs polishing and everything else will follow.”
The win allowed AMA to leapfrog all the way to Fifth Place and a 3-4 win-loss card. Only the Top Six teams will advance to the playoffs.
Maiquez and Martinez both finished with 23 points for AMA. Maiquez also grabbed eight rebounds while Martinez fired five triples.
Jeff Alvin Viernes was one of the few bright spots for the Mixers with 23 points. Michael DiGregorio followed with 15 points as KeraMix sorely missed guard Jiovani Jalalon who was with the Philippine team to the Southeast Asian Basketball Association Championship in Singapore.
How They Scored:
TANDUAY LIGHT (92) – Mariano 17, Eriobu 15, Ilagan 13, Sumang 11, Tagarda 10, Belencion 9, Rosales 7, Santos 6, Escueta 2, de la Paz 2, Jumao-as 0, Cenal 0, Rono 0.
LIVERMARIN (76) – Ignacio 19, Costelo 15, Guinto 9, de la Cruz 8, Rios 7, Ortuoste 5, Calisaan 4, Bangga 4, de Vera 3, Balucanag 2, Marcus 0, Santos 0, Laude 0.
Period Scores: 22-21, 44-41, 69-59, 92-76.
AMA (107) – Maiquez 23, Martinez 23, Asuncion 13, Tampus 12, King 10, Camasura 9, Taganas 9, Sison 8, Quijano 0, Diswe 0, Angeles 0, Dizon 0.
KERAMIX (80) – Viernes 23, DiGregorio 15, Robles 10, Gabawan 7, Agovida 7, Ruaya 6, Jamito 5, Parala 5, Gil 2, Ibay 0, Sinco 0, Bartolo 0, Saitanan 0.
Period Scores: 30-19, 59-35, 80-55, 107-80.