The AMA Online Education Titans banked on a huge third quarter before holding off Wangs’ 30-point fourth quarter explosion to record a 97-90 win Thursday in the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
Jam Jamito and Jerramy King both posted double-doubles in AMA’s first win in the conference. AMA improves to 1-4 while the Couriers dropped to 1-5 at dead last.
Jamito tallied 24 points on 9-for-17 shooting and also hauled down 18 rebounds, both game-highs. King almost had a triple-double as he dished 12 points, nine rebounds, and 14 assists.
AMA was still trailing the Couriers in the first quarter, 18-16 before King, RR De Leon, and Rashawn McCarthy engineered a 13-0 run as AMA took a 29-18 first quarter lead.
The squad were exceptional in the first half and continued pounding Wangs, with Ryan Arambulo’s trey pushing the advantage to its biggest at 72-53 late in the third.
But Wangs refused to surrender just yet, cutting the deficit slowly before baskets by John Tayongtong and Rey Publico pulled Wangs to within 91-87 in the final 2:07.
“Siguro nasustain lang namin ngayon yung endgame. Yun kasi ang nagiging problema namin parati,” AMA head coach Mark Herrera said. “Sana magtuloy-tuloy na.”
But Jamito hit clutch free throws and another basket inside of the last minute to dodge the comeback attempt.
De Leon added 22 points for AMA while James Mangahas led Wangs with 21 points, 11 rebounds, and seven assists. Tayongtong and Clark Bautista each contributed 16 markers for the Couriers.
AMA Online Education (97) – Jamito 24, De Leon 22, King 12, Tampus 11, Alberto 7, Arambulo 6, Mendoza 5, McCarthy 5, Asuncion 5.
Wangs Basketball (90) – Mangahas 21, Bautista 16, Tayongtong 16, Publico 11, Munsayac 9, Jo. Montemayor 8, Acosta 4, Capacio 4, Romero 1.
Quarterscores: 29-18, 52-39, 73-60, 97-90.