AMA Online Education fought back from six points down in the final five minutes and averted an upset with an 87-78 win over Blustar Detergent Tuesday in the 2017 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup at JCSGO Gym in Cubao.
Juami Tiongson, Ryan Arambulo, and Jay-R Taganas took charge in the clutch as they stretched the Titans’ winning streak to three despite missing ace swingman Jeron Teng.
Trailing 75-69 in the final 4:29, AMA unleashed 12-1 run to seize a decisive 81-76 edge with 37.3 seconds left to play.
“I told my players, it’s all about our pride and composure. We know we can beat them but we relaxed and have our opponents confidence,” said coach Mark Herrera. “Hopefully, this serves as a lesson for us that we can’t underestimate our opponents.”
Tiongson commandeered the Titans with 23 points, seven assists, five rebounds, and two steals, while Arambulo got 20 markers and six boards.
JR Alabanza also held the fort defensively, finishing with 16 points, 12 rebounds, and eight blocks.
AMA improved to 5-2, while Blustar remained at the cellar at 0-5 after losing hold of a nine-point advantage, 64-55, at the end of the third period.
Kwaan Yoong Jing led the Dragons with 16 points and 10 rebounds, while Mak Long Seng had 15 markers and five boards.
AMA 83 – Tiongson 23, Arambulo 20, Alabanza 16, Barua 7, Taganas 5, Macaranas 4, Bragais 2, Jordan 2, Flores 2, Riley 2, Jumao-as 0, Carpio 0.
BLUSTAR 78 – Kwaan 16, Mak 15, Ang 11, Perez 11, Liaw 10, Ong 6, Melano 6, Heng 3, Choong 0, Chin 0.
Quarters: 24-20, 43-42, 55-64, 83-78.