The Café France-Centro Escolar University Bakers inched closer to nabbing a top two seed for the playoffs after defeating the AMA Online Education Titans, 92-83, Monday evening at JCSGO Gym in Cubao, Quezon City.
Rod Ebondo captained the Bakers with 29 points, 18 rebounds, and six blocks, while Paul Desiderio added 14 markers on a 3-of-6 shooting clip from threes.
Café France bucked a poor third quarter and opened the fourth with an 8-2 surge, regaining a 75-70 lead and go on cruise control from that point on.
It also allowed the Bakers to rise to 6-1, extending their winning streak to five and still in the thick of the race for those elusive top two spots.
“Ang maganda dito, nasa kamay pa namin yung aming destiny. We have to win our remaining games to hopefully land a spot in the top two,” said coach Egay Macaraya.
Café France shot 44 percent from the field and knocked down seven triples in the game. In comparison, AMA shot just 38 percent from the field and went just 4-of-19 from downtown.
Juami Tiongson fired 23 points and six rebounds, while Jeron Teng had 22 markers, nine boards, and six assists for the Titans, which ended their elimination schedule at 5-4.
Despite the loss, AMA have already qualified for the quarterfinals thanks to Tanduay’s 86-66 victory over Batangas in the first game.
Café France will have their second to the last assignments of the eliminations against Racal Ceramica on Thursday, March 9, 5:00 PM, at the Ynares Arena in Pasig City
Cafe France (92) – Ebondo 29, Desiderio 14, Arim 9, Casino 9, Calisaan 8, Faundo 6, Veron 5, Manlangit 4, Aquino 3, Baloria 3, Wamar 2, Guinitaran 0, Jeruta 0.
AMA Online Education (83) – Tiongson 23, Teng 22, Olayon 9, Alabanza 8, Arambulo 8, Barua 8, Taganas 5, Baluyot 0, Bragais 0, Riley 0.
Quarterscores: 28-19, 50-45, 67-68, 92-83.