PASIG CITY – AMA University nearly squandered a 20-point lead but had enough fight left down the stretch to slip past Technological Institute of the Philippines, 80-79, in the main game of the Rain Or Shine Sumilang Invitational Tournament Friday night (April 21) at the Sumilang Covered Court. It was the first win for the Titans while the Engineers remained winless in two starts in Group A.
AMA plunked in the first two points of the second half for their biggest lead, 53-33, but that was the cue for TIP to stage a long and patient rally led by Alex Ramos and Raven Limpiada. Two free throws by Jopet Soriano and back-to-back baskets by Guilber Carurucan and Ramos put the Engineers to within a point with still 46 seconds remaining, 79-80.
The Engineers were forced to give up three straight fouls to stop the clock and send a Titan to the free throw line and the gamble almost paid off. Michael Malones missed two free throws off Limpiada’s foul and the ball bouncing out in favor of TIP but Russel Calixto’s teardrop shot missed at the buzzer.
Daniel Salonga paced AMA with 21 points well spread throughout the game that helped build their lead and stem the tide of TIP’s repeated rallies. Owen Graham was next with 13 points and 12 rebounds as the Titans chalked up the crucial win with Senior Jayson Jordan as playing coach after none of the team’s coaches showed up for the 7:00 PM contest.
Ramos was the high man for the Engineers with 22 points and 10 rebounds. Limpiada finished with 12 points, six made in the fourth period rally.
How They Scored:
A M A (80) – Salonga 21, Graham 13, Bragais 9, Celso 8, Garcia 7, Malones 7, Cox 6, Calma 3, Macaranas 2, Carpio 2, Calma 2, Pippin 0, Quijano 0, Jordan 0.
TIP-MANILA (79) – Ramos 22, Limpiada 12, Soriano 10, Tan 9, Carurucan 9, Calixto 9, Averilla 5, Lara 2, de los Reyes 0, Manalang 0.
Period Scores: 28-22, 51-33, 72-58, 80-79.