PASIG CITY – AMA Online Education finally entered the win column of the 2017 PBA D-League Foudation Cup after surviving a cliff-hanger against a very gritty Gamboa Coffee Mix, 67-66, at the Ynares Sports Arena Tuesday (July 4). The Titans’ losing skid ended at five games while the Coffee Lovers’ woes extended with their fifth straight loss after winning their first game.
In a very exciting windup, Gamboa’s new recruit JR Cawaling managed to tie the game with eight seconds to play, 66-66. After an AMA timeout, playing coach Leo Avenido quickly fouled Embons Bonleon who responded by making his first but missing his second free throw to put the Titans on top, 67-66.
The defensive rebound went the way of the Coffee Lovers who immediately issued an outlet pass towards their basket but the AMA defense was alert and broke up the play, forcing Gamboa to foul and send Daniel Salonga to the line with less than a second on the clock. Salonga failed to convert both his shots but it hardly mattered as the buzzer sounded confirming AMA’s breakthrough.
“Gamboa is a veteran team and many of its players are idolized by my own players but I told them to forget about that for today,” said Coach Mark Herrera. “This game is definitely a big help to our confidence and the important thing is we did not falter in the end.”
Bonleon reinjured an old hand injury in the second period but he returned to score seven points in the fourth to lead the Titans with 16 points on three triples. Jaycee Asuncion, a transfer from Wang’s Basketball, debuted for AMA with 14 points and five rebounds.
Coach Avenido paced the Coffee Lovers with 15 points as he engaged Bonleon in a fourth period scoring duel. Mark Montuano and Val Acuna followed with 11 points each.
How They Scored:
AMA ONLINE EDUCATION (67) – Bonleon 16, Asuncion 14, Paras 11, Subido 11, Villanueva 6, Flores 3, Alas 3, Salonga 3, Malones 0, Jordan 0, Celso 0.
GAMBOA COFFEE MIX (66) – Avenido 15, Montuano 11, Acuna 11, Cawaling 10, Parala 9, Acibar 8, Knuttel 2, David 0, Riva 0, Vidal 0, Padilla 0, Jumao-as 0, Dadjilul 0, Arellano 0.
Period Scores: 14-23, 30-35, 52-47, 67-66.