AMA, Caida Improve Playoff Positions

2016 Aspirants Cup     SAN JUAN City – AMA Online Education fortified its chances of making the playoffs by thumping the ZC Mindanao Aguilas in overtime, 91-85, at the 2016 PBA D-League Aspirants Cup at the San Juan Arena Tuesday (February 23). Later in the day, Caida Tiles punished QRS JAM Liner-UP in another display of firepower, 118-86, and move into a tie with idle CafeFrance-CEU for the league leadership.

Guard Rashawn McCarthy shone in the extra period for AMA as he banged in six markers, beginning with a coldblooded triple that pegged the count at 87-83 and 1:49 to play. McCarthy then completed his heroics by sinking three free throws that gave the Titans an unassailable 90-83 cushion with 46 ticks remaining.

Robby Celiz forced the overtime by sinking three free throws off a Jarelan Tampus foul with 15 seconds left in regulation, 78-78. Tampus earlier scored five straight points to push the Titans ahead midway through the fourth period, 74-71.

McCarthy and Jam Jamito shared scoring honors for the Titans with 20 points each. RR de Leon also hit two crucial field goals in the overtime to wind up with 14 points.

AMA is now on a two-game winning streak for a 2-4 record and solo Sixth Place. The Aguilas dropped to 1-5 to tie idle Wang’s Basketball for the eighth and final play berth but the latter will get the nod owing to their 97-88 overtime victory over the Aguilas last January 28.

Veteran big men Kenneth Acibar and Mark Sarangay carried the fight for the Aguilas with 23 and 19 points respectively. With both of them lapsing into foul trouble, Celiz took over with 10 points in the fourth period and overtime to finish with 14.

The Tile Masters dominated the game since the opening when Jonathan Grey shattered the final deadlock, 14-12, en route to a 28-18 buffer after the first ten minutes. From there, it was an all-Caida show as all players fielded by Coach Carlos Garcia took turned at bombarding the opposition in a balanced scoring attack.

So relentless was Caida that they unloaded 38 points in the final canto with the likes of Grey, Philip Paniamogan, Jiovani Jalalon and Ford Ruaya leading the way. The Maroons evened their record to 3-3, a full game behind Fourth Place Tanduay Rhum (4-2) for a twice-to-beat in the playoffs.

Paniamogan and Grey paced Caida with 19 and 18 points respectively. Jalalon also hit double digits with 16 as nine other teammates submitted five or more markers.

Diego Dario was the high man for the Maroons with 19. Kevin Ferrer and Gelo Alolino were next with 14 points each.

The games will move to Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City on Thursday (February 25). The Maroons will play Wang’s at 2:00 PM followed by Tanduay Rhum against Banco de Oro-NU at 4:00 PM.

How They Scored:

First Game

AMA ONLINE (91) – McCarthy 20, Jamito 20, de Leon 14, Mendoza 9, Asuncion 8, Tampus 7, Arambulo 5, Alberto 5, King 3.

ZC MINDANAO (85) – Acibar 23, Sarangay 19, Celiz 17, Jumao-as 6, Ignacio 5, Julkipli 4, Argamino 3, Nalos 2, Ongteco 2, Villanueva 2, Garcia 2.

Period Scores: 30-15, 41-35, 62-63, 78-78 (reg.), 91-85 (OT).

Second Game

CAIDA TILES (118) – Paniamogan 19, Grey 18, Jalalon 16, Nambatac 9, Gabawan 8, Terso 8, Perkins 7, Ruaya 7, Javier 7, Robles 6, Corpuz 6, Lozada 5, Cabrera 2.

QRS JAM LINER-UP (86) – Dario 19, Alolino 14, Ferrer 14, Aguilar 12, Lim 10, Soyud 8, Baloria 5, Batino 2, Neypes 2, Moralde 0, Sorela 0.

Period Scores: 28-18, 52-45, 80-71, 118-86.


About Anthony E. Servinio

A long-time television sportscaster, magazine writer, photographer and college professor from the Philippines finally gives blogging a try after more than a decade of on-line presence. Read on folks!
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