The Province of Batangas claimed solo second place in the 2017 Foundation Cup after a 95-76 rout of the AMA Online Education Titans, Thursday afternoon at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
The Batangueños rode their hot start and leaned on the duo of Jhaps Bautista and Joseph Sedurifa to grab an early 22-10 lead in the first period. That further ballooned to 21, 55-34, with 6:13 left in the third quarter as they refused to take their foot off the gas pedal and cruised to their third win in four outings.
“Maganda yung naging investment namin noong nakaraang conference. Yung core ng team intact at tingin ko, naa-absorb na nila yung mga gusto ko para sa isang team,” said coach Eric Gonzales.
Bautista poured 12 of his 22 points in the first two frames, while also hauling down six rebounds, while Sedurifa added 16 markers, eight boards, and two steals off the bench.
Cedrick Ablaza also contributed 11 points and seven rebounds in Batangas’ bounce back win, after tasting a 72-70 defeat at the hands of CEU last Thursday.
Though coming away with the victory, Gonzales believes that the Batangueños can still improve moving forward as they inch closer on nabbing a spot in the quarterfinals.
“Sabi ko sa kanila, dream ko na makapasok sa quarters. Kaya ang dami pa rin talaga naming kailangang i-correct,” said the two-time PBA D-League champion mentor.
Ivan Villanueva carried AMA (0-4) with 14 points and three rebounds, while Renzo Subido had 13 markers and four assists.
Andre Paras also registered a double-double with his 10 points, 22 boards, and four swats in the defeat.
Batangas looks to continue its good run when they take on the Zark’s Jawbreakers on Tuesday, June 27 at 5:00pm. AMA, on the other hand, will try to pick up its first win when they face fellow school-based team CEU Scorpions on Thursday, June 29 at 5:00pm.
Batangas (95) – Bautista 22, Sedurifa 16, Ablaza 11, Anderson 10, De Joya 8, Napoles 7, Ragasa 6, Mag-isa 5, Saitanan 4, Mendoza 3, Laude 3, Dela Peña 0.
AMA Online Education (76) – Villanueva 14, Subido 13, Alas 12, Paras 10, Bonleon 9, Flores 5, Salonga 4, Pontejos 4, Macaranas 3, Celso 2, Jordan 0, Bragais 0, Malones 0, Carpio 0.
Quarterscores: 22-14, 44-26, 73-57, 95-76.