The Gamboa-St. Clare Coffee Lovers snagged the five-seed in the 2018 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup playoffs, eviscerating the AMA Online Education Titans by 46, 136-90, Thursday at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
Chris Bitoon quickly made his presence felt, unfurling 21 of his 31 points in the first half as the Coffee Lovers slowly established the 60-45 advantage.
Trevis Jackson joined in the party, missing out on a triple-double after pouring 26 markers, 10 assists, and nine boards.
Aris Dionisio also added 13 points, eight rebounds, and two blocks, while Raymond Rubio and CJ Catura both had 11.
“Maganda ito para sa amin. Ready lang kami kasi alam namin na mabigat ang kalaban sa quarters,” said coach Jinino Manansala.
Gamboa-St. Clare actually forced a three-way tie for the fourth spot at 7-4, but will take the fifth-seed due to an inferior quotient to Che’Lu-San Sebastian. The two teams will meet in the quarterfinals starting on Tuesday, with the Revellers owning the twice-to-beat bonus.
The Coffee Lovers made the most of their final elimination game as they went on a 49-percent shooting and outrebounded the Titans, 63-49.
Kent Lao scored 26 points, on top of two rebounds and two assists, as he was supported by Andre Paras’ double-double effort of 17 markers and 13 boards in the AMA defeat.
The Titans closed out the conference with a 1-10 record and a seven-game losing skid.
Gamboa-St. Clare 136 — Bitoon 31, Jackson 26, Dionisio 13, Catura 11, Rubio 13, Hallare 9, Decano 8, Penaredondo 8, Jumaquio 6, Pare 5, Alcober 4, Fontanilla 4.
AMA 90 — Lao 21, Paras 17, J. Escalambre 13, C. Escalambre 11, Quijano 9, Velasquez 6, Antonares 5, Carpio 4, Andaya 2, Garcia 2.
Quarterscores: 25-27, 60-45, 97-70, 136-90.