Che'lu-San Sebastian's late-game comeback sends AMA to 0-3
MANILA, Philippines – The Che’lu-San Sebastian Bar and Grill completed a late-game comeback from an early 14-point deficit, beating AMA Online Education, 83-79, in the 2018 PBA D-League Aspirants Cup at the Ynares Sports Arena, Thursday, February 1.
Led by acrobatic swingman Genmar Bragais and new point guard Rob Manalang, AMA jumped out to an early 21-7 lead in the first quarter, which would already turn out to be their biggest lead of the game. Che’lu responded with an 11-0 run, led by Kent Ilagan’s 11 1st quarter points. More team-oriented plays transpired in the 2nd period, with both teams coming to a near-stalemate at halftime, 39-35, still in favor of AMA. Che’lu’s 11-5 run to open the quarter was countered with an 11-6 run by AMA heading into intermission.
However, AMA’s troubles would begin to mount in the 3rd, as they lost their big man Andre Paras to an apparent right ankle injury. He needed to be helped off the court and was given immediate treatment courtside. Unfortunately for him, his individual troubles continue as he finished with only 5 points and 6 rebounds on 1/8 shooting in 26 minutes.
To make matters worse for AMA, Samboy de Leon caught fire for Che’lu in the same quarter, scoring 11 of his 21 points, including 3 of his 4 total treys.
De Leon kept riding his hot hand entering the final frame and the chemistry of the NCAA playoff contender finally showed, as Mike Calisaan and Alfred Batino joined in the shootout with 13 combined points in the period. This was enough to nullify Rob Manalang’s 15-point 4th quarter explosion which included a 4-point play.
Despite having only 2 points in the 4th quarter, Ilagan still led the Che’lu charge with 22 points, while De Leon followed closely with 21 points of his own – 18 coming in the 2nd half. Calisaan and Batino also chipped in respective 12-point, 10-rebound and 11-point, 11-board double-doubles in the win. On the other end, former Adamson Falcon Rob Manalang dazzled in his PBA D-League debut with 28 points and 4 threes in a 38-minute outing. Bragais followed him with a 16-point, 13-rebound double-double.
Che’lu-San Sebastian (83) – Ilagan 22, De Leon 21, Calisaan 12, Batino 11, Bulanadi 8, Faundo 6, Jeruta 2, David 1, Costelo 0, Ricavfort 0, Valdez 0, Santos 0, Calma 0, Baetong 0
AMA (79) – Manalang R. 28, Bragais 16, Escalambre 13, Matillano 10, Proter 7, Paras 5, Garcia 0, Carpio 0, Salonga 0, Antonares 0, Manalang P. 0, Jordan 0, Parcero 0, Macaranas 0
Quarter Scores: 18-21, 35-39, 56-58, 83-79
STANDINGS (as of Feb. 1, 2018)
Gamboa-St. Clare 1-1
Go For Gold-CSB 1-1
Marinerong Pilipino 1-2
Mila’s Lechon 0-2