MANILA, Philippines — Centro Escolar University leaned on its veteran core to escape with a 100-85 win over AMA Online Education in the PBA D-League Foundation Cup on Thursday at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
Congolese center Rod Ebondo was dominant once again for the Scorpions, scoring 27 points on top of 22 rebounds, three blocks, and two steals.
Ebondo also nailed a triple with 1:00 left that served as the dagger, allowing CEU to come away with its third straight win.
JK Casiño contributed 22 points, while Christian Uri and Mark Cruz both tallied 14 points and six boards each for CEU (3-2).
The Scorpions scored 30 points in the second quarter to pull away, 51-37, at the half. They led by as many as 20 points, 69-49, with 3:40 left to play in the third quarter.
However, former University of Santo Tomas standouts Mario Bonleon and Renzo Subido helped AMA crawl its way back. The Titans trimmed the deficit to just eight points, 93-85, thanks to an and-1 play from Ivan Villanueva with still 2:41 left to play.
Unfortunately for AMA, it proved to be its last hurrah. Aaron Jeruta, Ebondo and Cruz came to the rescue for CEU, as they scored three straight buckets to quell the Titans’ rally.
“Ang dami pa naming lapses na kailangan naming i-correct, so we have to continue pushing ourselves in practice, lalo na ‘yung decision-making,” said CEU coach Yong Garcia.
Bonleon shot 12-of-22 from the field to lead AMA (0-5) with 30 points and four rebounds, while Subido had 23.
CEU 100 – Ebondo 27, Casiño 22, Uri 14, Cruz 14, Arim 8, Manlangit 7, Jeruta 6, Wamar 2, Aquino 0, Saber 0.
AMA ONLINE EDUCATION 85 – Bonleon 30, Subido 23, Salonga 10, Villanueva 7, Alas 5, Alupani 3, Flores 3, Paras 2, Celso 2, Macaranas 0, Jordan 0, Malones 0.
Quarters: 21-19, 51-37, 74-63, 100-85.
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