CEU blows out AMA by 35 as coach, 6 other Titans skip game
MANILA, Philippines – The CEU Scorpions continued their domination in the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup as they mangled the one-win AMA Online Education Titans by 35, 118-83, at the Ynares Sports Arena, Thursday, March 8.
While the top threat Scorpions only held a one-point lead after the first quarter, the game quickly got out of hand thanks to Rod Ebondo, who scored 11 of his 21 first half points in the second period, including a trademark dunk. The Scorpions outscored the Titans, 42-17, in this frame alone.
The game spiraled to awkward silence by the second half, as threes and easy twos rained down from the Scorpions reserves. Robbie Manalang, Mark Andaya and Carlo Escalambre hustled and tried to trim the deficit, but the efforts of the 9-man Titans weren’t enough to counter the full force of the 14-man Scorpions.
Ebondo did the most damage as expected in just 19 minutes of play, tallying a game-high 27 points with 9 rebounds. Thirteen other Scorpions played at least 10 minutes as they took turns feasting on the hapless Titans. Manalang still led AMA with 23 points, but only hit 9/21 (43%) from the field and 2/10 (20%) from three.
AMA coach Mark Herrera was a notable absence in this game, along with 6 other AMA players including FEU star Arvin Tolentino who only played 6 minutes in the Titans’ loss against the Akari-Adamson Falcons on Tuesday. AMA guard Juan Carlo Garcia said that Herrera was down with a sickness, but didn’t give further details.
In the other game, the Akari Falcons kept a hold on solo second place with an 89-79 win over the Batangas EAC Generals.
CEU (118) – Ebondo 27, Aquino 15, Fuentes 12, Veron 12, Manlangit 11, Opiso 10, Caballero 6, Wamar 6, Guinitaran 6, Cruz 6, Uri 5, Arim 2, Chan 0, Saber 0
AMA (83) – Manalang 23, Andaya 19, Escalambre 14, Martinez 11, Garcia 5, Lao 5, Quijano 2, Antonares 2
Quarter Scores: 25-24, 67-41, 97-58, 118-83
STANDINGS (as of March 8, 2018)
Marinerong Pilipino 5-2
Gamboa-St. Clare 3-2
Go For Gold-CSB 5-4