AMA ekes out thrilling first win, trips Gamboa


Mario Bonleon. PBA IMAGES

AMA Online Education finally halted its five-game losing skid with a nail-biting 67-66 victory over Gamboa Coffee Mix in the 2017 PBA D-League Foundation Cup Tuesday at Ynares Sports Arena.

Mario Bonleon canned the go-ahead freebie with 8.3 seconds left after getting fouled by Leo Avenido off-ball in the inbounds play.

The Coffee Lovers still had a chance to take the game, but JR Cawaling threw an errant pass to Mark Montuano which Titans guard Daniel Salonga easily intercepted.

Bonleon topped AMA with 16 points on a 6-of-17 shooting from the field, to go with three rebounds, while Jaycee Asuncion got 14 markers, five boards, and two assists.

Andre Paras again notched a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds, while Renzo Subido got 11 markers and five assists in the win, to improve their side’s slate to 1-5.

“This win is so sweet because we faced a team that is full of ex-pros and are the idols of my players,” said coach Mark Herrera. “I told them to set aside those and play up until the end and I’m glad that up to the final second, our team held itself on defense.”

Leo Avenido paced Gamboa (1-5) with 15 points and five rebounds, but his squad absorbed its fifth straight defeat in the heartbreaking loss.

Montuano got 11 markers and 13 boards, while Val Acuña also poured 11 in the game.

The Scores:

AMA ONLINE EDUCATION 67 – Bonleon 16, Asuncion 14, Paras 11, Subido 11, Villanueva 6, Alas 3, Flores 3, Salonga 3, Celso 0, Jordan 0, Malones 0.

GAMBOA COFFEE MIX 66 – Avenido 15, Acuña 11, Montuano 11, Cawaling 10, Parala 9, Acibar 8, Knuttel 2, Arellano 0, Dadjilul 0, David 0, Jumao-as 0, Padilla 0, Riva 0, Vidal 0.

Quarters: 14-23, 30-35, 52-47, 67-66.