The Centro Escolar University Scorpions closed in on a semifinals spot in the 2018 PBA D-League Foundation Cup with an 82-71 hammering of the lowly AMA Online Education Titans, Thursday afternoon at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
Pierce Chan exploded for 30 points and 13 rebounds for the Scorpions, which made sure there were no hiccups in their quest to advance to the next round with their 5-4 card.
Rich Guinitaran also drilled five triples to wound up with 15 points, while Cameroonian big man Gilles Oloume chipped his part with 12 points, 17 boards, and three blocks.
“It’s very important that we got the win here against AMA. We can’t let the other teams do the dirty work for us. We gotta take care of things for us,” said acting coach Derrick Pumaren.
CEU needs Batangas-EAC to lose the next game to league leader Che’Lu to formalize the four semifinals protagonists.
The Scorpions went down to work early, establishing control of the game and taking a lead as high as 21, 61-40, courtesy of an Orlan Wamar jumper in the third quarter, enough of a cushion for them to cruise to the easy win.
“As I’ve told the boys, it’s not all about xs and os. The thing is you have to have the heart, the will to win, and the passion to win because AMA is 0-8, right? We can’t have the attitude na kayang-kaya namin. Kung kaya namin, we have to show it on the floor, and I think we were able to show that,” remarked Pumaren.
Domark Matillano paced AMA (0-9) with 23 points and seven rebounds, while Owen Graham got 15 points and 13 boards in the defeat.
CEU 82 – Chan 30, Guinitaran 15, Oloume 12, Fuentes 7, Formento 6, Uri 6, Ke. Caballero 2, Intic 2, Wamar 2, Ko. Caballero 0, Rojas 0.
AMA Online Education 71 – Matillano 23, Graham 15, Garcia 13, Alao 6, Barde 5, Soriano 5, Cariaga 2, Jordan 2, Asuncion 0, Sabile 0, Rivera 0.
Quarterscores: 27-14, 46-31, 64-50, 82-71.