PASIG CITY – The end result may have no bearing with regards to the standings but AMA University sent ripples through the Rain Or Shine Sumilang Invitational Tournament by downing erstwhile undefeated Philippine Christian University, 98-64, in the final elimination round game Monday evening (April 24) at the Sumilang Covered Court. Despite the loss, PCU (3-1) still earned the top seeding in Group A while AMA (2-2) finished with the third seed in the quarterfinals.
The Dolphins used a 9-0 run to take a 32-30 lead but the Titans quickly countered with a 10-2 windup for a 40-34 halftime edge which they never relinquished. Suddenly, AMA found their shots falling in while PCU experienced forgettable shooting as AMA slowly turned the game into a blowout.
Juniors Division standout Juan Carlo Garcia combined well with PBA D-League veterans Genmar Bragais, Michael Malones and Jayson Jordan to constantly pad their lead. Before they knew it, AMA found themselves on top by 36 markers, 94-58, with Garcia pumping in 10 in the final canto.
Garcia, who is still eligible to play in the NAASCU Juniors this coming season, led the way for AMA with 19 points, two assists and two steals. Bragais ably backed him up with 15 points and seven rebounds as the Titans picked up their second win a row and both achieved without the presence of a coach on the bench.
The prolific pair of Michael Ayonayon and Yves Sazon had their usual numbers of 24 and 16 points respectively but the rest of the Dolphins struggled. PCU as a team shot 25 of 77 (0.325) from the field compared to AMA’s 33 of 61 clip (0.541).
PCU while meet Manuel L. Quezon University (1-3) in the quarterfinals while AMA has drawn undefeated Centro Escolar University (4-0). The other quarterfinal pairings pit Philippine Merchant Marine School (3-1) versus De Ocampo Memorial College (2-2) and Saint Clare College (2-2) testing Our Lady of Fatima University (3-1) in a rematch of the 2016 NAASCU Finals.
How They Scored:
A M A (98) – Garcia 19, Bragais 15, Malones 13, Jordan 12, Graham 10, Celso 8, Pineda 7, Macaranas 6, Cox 4, Calma 4, Castro 0, Salonga 0.
PHILIPPINE CHRISTIAN (64) – Ayonayon 24, Sazon 16, Ordonez 8, Mescallado 4, Sumalacay 3, Camaya 2, Pallatao 2, Galit 2, Manalo 2, Vasquez 1, Malto 0, Castro 0, Abrigo 0, Bautista 0, Catipay 0.
Period Scores: 16-16, 40-34, 64-44, 98-64.