MANILA, Philippines — Jay-R Taganas sank the game-winning basket with 2.2 seconds remaining as the AMA University Titans eked out a 76-74 escape from the Tanduay Light Rhum Masters in the 2015 PBA D-League Foundation Cup on Monday, March 30 at the JCSGO Gym in Cubao.
Taganas, who finished with a game-high 17 points and 11 rebounds, found himself wide open off the inbound and converted a quick short stab plus the foul to break the 74-all deadlock.
The burly 6-foot-4 big man missed the bonus free throw but Taganas, a consistent rebounding machine for AMA, delivered enough to complete his team’s 16-point comeback.
Dexter Maiquez had a double-double of 14 points and 10 boards, while Oda Tampus and James Martinez had 11 points each for AMA, which rose to 2-1.
Former University of the East guard Roi Sumang led the Rhum Masters with 13 markers on 4-of-5 field goals.
Jaypee Belencion and Aljon Mariano chipped in 11 points each for Tanduay, which zoomed to a 25-9 first quarter lead before it got trimmed to 39-37 at the half.
The Rhum Masters slipped to 1-2.
In the first game, the Hapee Fresh Fighters dominated from start to finish and notched their first win this conference against a hapless LiverMarin Guardians, 74-50.
In the absence of injured Rayray Parks and Garvo Lanete, Troy Rosario led the 2015 Aspirants Cup champions with 20 points, 9 rebounds and two steals.
Earl Scottie Thompson, Chris Newsome and Mark Romero tallied 11 points apiece for Hapee, which led by as much as 26 points late in the fourth and hiked its record to 1-1.
The game was effectively out of reach after the first 3 quarters as the Fresh Fighters erected a daunting 56-32 edge, to send the newcomers to a 0-3 start in their debut D-League conference.
No player from LiverMarin made it to double figures with Jovit Dela Cruz, who is part of San Sebastian’s core group, topscoring with just 8 points.
Hapee clobbered LiverMarin on points in the paint, 42-22, and second-chance points, 17-4, even without La Salle big man Arnold Van Opstal, who is already focusing on his Sinag Pilipinas stint. — Rappler.com
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