D-League: Balanza topscores as Letran survives Munzon, AMA
MANILA, Philippines – The Petron-Letran Knights bounced back from a two-point loss with a 108-91 win against the AMA Online Education Titans in the 2019 PBA D-League at the Paco Arena on Tuesday, March 5.
Burly enforcer Larry Muyang had a game-high 21 points, 15 in the 4th quarter alone, on a stellar 8/10 (80%) shooting with 7 rebounds.
The returning Jerrick Balanza also bounced back from an inefficient 6-point outing, tripling his offensive output with 18 points on 4-of-5 (80%) shooting from downtown off the bench.
"For a player, it's so hard to get back on his timing," new head coach Bonnie Tan said regarding Balanza.
"After the first na talo, nag-usap kami at nakita niya 2/13 field goal niya. Ganoon talaga. Medyo gigil, wala sa timing. Pero advice ko is kunin ang timing sa defense at darating din ang offense. Eighteen points siya but he also stopped two scorers ng AMA. Doon nagstart, nakuha naman."
(After the first loss, we talked and he saw that he shot 2/13. That's how it is. He's a bit excited, and the timing is off. But my advice is to get first the timing on defense and the offense will come. He had 18 points, but he also stopped two AMA scorers. That's where it started, and he got it.)
Lanky forward Jeo Ambohot tallied a 14-marker, 12-board double-double in the win.
The Knights' balanced charge survived a second-straight scoring explosion from top pick Joshua Munzon, who paced AMA with 38 points after a 46-point night against University of Santo Tomas.
Although Letran led by as many as 18 points, Munzon's unrelenting attacks gave the Titans a fighting chance down the stretch.
The former ABL standout got his team within 10, 87-97, after what would be his final points of the contest off a layup.
However, Letran's teamwork prevailed in the end, as the Knights repeatedly fed Muyang down low for the finishing blows in the post.
In the first game, the Marinerong Pilipino Skippers likewise bounced back with an 87-63 rout of the Chadao-FEU Tamaraws.
Former La Salle slotman Santi Santillan led the way with 19 points, 9 rebounds, and 2 assists, while JRU star prospect Jed Mendoza added 16 markers and 9 boards in the easy win.
With the Tamaraws fighting back from an 11-point halftime deficit, 33-44, Mendoza went on and sparked a 16-3 run for the Skippers that gave his side a commanding 60-43 edge with 3 minutes left in the 3rd frame.
From there, FEU just fell apart toward their second-straight loss in the young season.
Scrappy swingman Alec Stockton was the lone bright spot for the Tamaraws as he paced them with 16 points, 6 boards, and 3 dimes.
Marinerong Pilipino 87 - Santillan 19, Mendoza 16, Asistio 12, Victoria 12, M. Aquino 10, Apreku 5, Gamboa 5, Reyes 4, A. Aquino 2, Bonifacio 2, Wamar 0, Serrano 0, Garcia 0, Bunag 0.
Chadao-FEU 63 - Stockton 16, Celzo 12, Bienes 8, Cani 7, Tuffin 5, Comboy 5, Gonzales 4, Bayquin 2, Nunag 2, Senining 2, Roman 0, Jopia 0, Mallari 0, Dulatre 0, Tchuente 0.
Quarters: 23-16, 44-33, 63-49, 87-63.
Petron-Letran 108 - Muyang 21, Balanza 18, Fajarito 15, Ambohot 14, Pasaol 8, Olivario 7, Caralipio 7, Sangalang 4, Pambid 4, Mina 4, Reyson 3, Balagasay 2, Sta. Ana 1, Galvelo 0.
AMA 91 - Munzon 38, Yu 10, Johnson 10, Rike 9, Parcero 9, Dela Virgen 7, Mabulac 4, Montalbo 3, Estibar 1, Gonzaga 0, Asuncion 0, Bederi 0, Liwag 0, Garcia 0.
Quarters: 18-15, 51-37, 78-67, 108-91.