AKARI-Adamson trounced Wangs-Letran, 90-71, on Thursday to gain a share of the lead in the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup at the Ynares Sports Arena.
The Soaring Falcons climbed to joint first with a 7-2 card, tying Centro Escolar University, which lost to Gamboa Coffee-St. Clare in the first game of Thursday’s doubleheader.
Wangs dropped to 5-3, falling to a share of fifth place with Gamboa.
Akari secured a quarterfinal berth while boosting its chance of gaining automatic entry to the semifinals.
The top two teams at the end of the elimination advance to the semifinals.
“I’ll be a hypocrite if I’m not thinking about that,” said Akari-Adamson coach Franz Pumaren, referring to eyeing one of the top two automatic semifinal berths.
“The important thing for us is each game, we establish our identity.”
Sean Manganti scored 10 of his 24 points in the third quarter that saw the Falcons outscore the Couriers, 30-14.
Akari led by as many as 23 points, limiting Wangs to 36 percent from the field in the second half.
“I think we really played well. We were really impressive on defense. That’s what we’ve been preaching,” said Pumaren.
Jerrick Ahanmisi and Papi Sarr had 15 points each, while Simon Camacho had 14 points.
Rey Publico had 20 points for the Couriers.
Akari-Adamson 90 - Manganti 24, Ahanmisi 15, Sarr 15, Camacho 14, Catapusan 6, Espeleta 5, Macion 4, Mojica 3, Lastimosa 2, Pingoy 2, Zaldivar 0,
Wangs-Letran 71 - Publico 20, Ambohot 12, Quinto 10, Calvo 7, Muyang 6, Balanza 6, Yu 6, Balagasay 2, Mandreza 2, Trinidad 0, Taladua 0, Vacaro 0, Batiller 0.
Quarterscores: 15-14; 36-36; 66-49; 90-71.