QUEZON CITY – Racal Tiles avoided any complications by crushing AMA Online Education, 105-77, and claim the top playoff seeding at the close of the 2016 PBA D-League Foundation Cup elimination round at the Jesus Christ Saves Global Outreach (JCSGO) Gym Tuesday (August 9). The Tile Masters though have little time to rest as they play dangerous fourth seed Tanduay Rhum in the semifinals this Thursday (August 11) at the STRIKE Gym in Bacoor City.
Philip Paniamogan hit back-to-back triples to break a 6-6 deadlock and push Racal ahead for good in the first period, 12-6. Underscoring their depth, the Tile Masters’ substitutes entered the game one by one with the likes of Jonathan Grey, Jackson Corpuz, Billy Ray Robles and Chris Javier taking turns at stretching their lead which stood at 53-39 by halftime.
The frenetic scoring pace did not end there. The Tile Masters leaned on Jamil Ortuoste to key a 15-0 run in the third that basically delivered the early knockout punch, 74-54.
“Our goal was to get a twice-to-beat advantage in the semifinals and we got it,” said Coach Carlos Garcia. “We lost two very important players in Jiovani Jalalon and Jason Perkins in the offseason so these current players want to prove that they can win without them.”
FINAL TEAM STANDINGS
Racal Tiles 10-2
Phoenix Petroleum 9-3
Tanduay Rhum 8-4
AMA Online Education 4-8
Blustar Detergent 2-10
Topstar ZC Mindanao 0-12
Coach Garcia is not resting easy despite beating the Rhum Masters twice in the tournament, 96-90 and 90-81. “We have yet to play them with Kevin Ferrer in their line-up and they always played us tough,” he said.
Aspirants Cup champion Phoenix Petroleum will meet defending champion CafeFrance-CEU in the other semifinal pairing. Both Racal and Phoenix enjoy the twice-to-beat advantage over their opponents.
Grey led the winning attack with 17 points. Paniamogan followed with 16 points on three triples while Corpuz submitted a double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds.
Playing against his former team for the first time, Rashawn McCarthy scattered 26 points in 29 minutes of action for the Titans. After averaging 45.0 points in their last two games, James Martinez was limited to only 15 markers.
How They Scored:
RACAL TILES (105) – Grey 17, Paniamogan 16, Corpuz 15, Javier 11, Ortuoste 11, Terso 8, Maiquez 6, Cabrera 6, Robles 6, Ambulodto 4, Gabawan 2, Neypes 2, Celiz 1.
AMA ONLINE EDUCATION (76) – McCarthy 26, Martinez 15, Arambulo 12, Asuncion 7, Ortega 4, Malones 3, Jo Montemayor 2, Taganas 2, Calma 2, Jordan 2, Macaranas 1, Carpio 0, Belleza 0.
Period Scores: 20-16, 53-39, 83-60, 105-76.