AMA Titans kept its twice-to-beat bid alive in the quarterfinal round after beating Victoria Sports-Manuel L. Quezon University, 88-80, in the 2017 Philippine Basketball Association D-League Aspirants’ Cup on Monday at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
Juami Tiongson tallied 22 points, 14 in the final period, and four assists while Jeron Teng flirted with a triple-double performance with 18 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists as the Titans improved to 4-2 to stay on track for the quarterfinal bonus.
Genmar Bragais added 15 points, three assists, three boards while Ryan Arambulo chipped in nine points and six rebounds for AMA, which led by as high as 20 points, 57-37, 6:30 left in the third period.
But the Titans got a little complacent and allowed Victoria Sports to inch closer, 63-71, before Tiongson came up with key baskets to preserve the win.
The former Ateneo de Manila University standout scored underneath for an easy two and hit a trey to regain a double-digit lead, 86-73, with 90 seconds remaining.
“We relaxed in the latter part. I told my players that in every game we should not relax until the final buzzer,” said AMA coach Mark Herrera.
“I told him [Tiongson] to take over the game since Jeron is getting tired. We cannot rely on anyone except him who is the veteran. He showed that he can take over the game,” Herrera added.
Robert Herndon chipped in 24 point, 11 rebounds while Aris Dionisio scored 23 markers and 17 boards for Victoria Sports, which remained winless after four games.
In the first game, Cignal-San Beda trounced Team Batangas, 95-68, to join Tanduay Rhum and Cafe France at second spot with 3-1 win-loss card.
Robert Bolick connected 19 points, five rebounds, and three assists while Byron added 13 markers.for the Hawkeyes.