MANILA, Philippines – EcoOil-La Salle set a new PBA D-League record after annihilating AMA Online in a lopsided 126-43 win in the Aspirants’ Cup at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig on Thursday, May 25.
The Green Archers’ 83-point rout stands as the biggest winning margin in PBA D-League history, erasing the previous mark set by Tanduay when it dealt Zark’s Burgers a 76-point beating in the 2017 Foundation Cup, 141-65.
Six players scored in double figures for La Salle, which improved to 4-1 to gain a share of the top spot with Marinerong Pilipino-San Beda and boosted its bid for a top-two finish that merits an outright semifinal spot.
Raven Cortez shone off the bench with 19 points and 13 rebounds for the Archers, who ended the opening quarter up 42-10 and never looked back.
Ben Phillips also tallied 19 points in the romp on top of 4 rebounds and 2 steals, Bright Nwankwo put up 15 points, 9 rebounds, and 2 blocks, while Francis Escandor fired 14 points.
Making the most out of his nine minutes on the court, Mark Nonoy posted 13 points, 5 steals, 3 rebounds, and 3 assists for La Salle.
“We didn’t think about the record. It’s good that we [eclipsed] it but we just focused on getting better,” said Archers deputy Gian Nazario in Filipino.
“It’s an opportunity for us to get better and we talked about it before the game that we shouldn’t pick which teams we want to play hard against.”
Reed Baclig and Earl Ceniza scored 10 points each for the Titans, although they coughed up a combined 13 turnovers.
Ending its campaign with a 0-6 record, AMA Online committed 31 turnovers overall, which La Salle turned into 46 points – three more than the Titans’ game total.
In the opening game, Centro Escolar University survived the PSP Gymers in double overtime, 109-107, thanks to the heroics of Ron Rei Tolentino.
Tolentino netted 20 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists, and 3 steals off the bench, churning out the last 4 points that saved the Scorpions from the jaws of defeat.
A Wendell Comboy jumper inside the final minute gave the Gymers a 107-105 lead before Tolentino knocked down a booming triple with 18 ticks left to put CEU on the front seat.
Tolentino split his free throws 12 seconds later for the final tally as Ian Jay Yutuc missed the game-winning trey for PSP.
With the victory, the Scorpions improved to 3-2 to stay in the top-two race and will face the Red Lions on Tuesday, May 30, at the same venue.
Franz Diaz paced CEU with 21 points, 7 assists, and 5 rebounds.
Mark Meneses saw his 22-point, 21-rebound, 6-block, 3-steal masterpiece go down the drain in the loss that dropped the Gymers to 2-4, good for sixth place.
Comboy had 19 points and 5 assists, while former Letran star Fran Yu dished out 15 assists for PSP.
CEU 109 – Diaz 21, Tolentino 20, Santos 16, Balogun 15, Anagbogu 12, Bernabe 9, Cabotaje 7, Borromeo 3, Pe?ano 2, Puray 2, Malicana 2, Javier 0, Joson 0, Ferrer 0.
PSP 107 – Meneses 22, Comboy 19, Acu?a 15, Dela Cruz 14, Bayla 13 Mohammad 9, Yutuc 7, Yu 4, Sumagaysay 2, Velchez 2, Castillo 0, Olegario 0.
Quarters: 18-22, 40-38, 62-56, 82-82 (reg.), 99-99 (1OT), 109-107 (2OT).
EcoOil-La Salle 126 – Cortez 19, B. Phillips 19, Nwankwo 15, Escandor 14, Nonoy 13. Buensalida 11, Gollena 8, Alao 6, Abadam 5, M. Phillips 5, David 4, Estacio 4, Nelle 3.
AMA Online 43 – Ceniza 10, Baclig 10, Dela Rosa 5, Golloso 4, Alina 3, Cantoma 3, Del Pilar 3, Bentulan 2, Panlilio 2, Fernandez 1, Yambao 0, Silvarez 0, Geronga 0, Macaranas 0.
Quarters: 42-10, 80-29, 109-41, 126-43.
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