PIERCE Chan lit up for 30 big points as Centro Escolar University scored a huge 82-71 victory over AMA Online Education to inch closer to a semifinal spot in the 2018 PBA D-League Foundation Cup on Thursday at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
Chan shot 13-of-22 from the field and grabbed 13 rebounds as he led the Scorpions to their fifth win in nine games.
The loss puts pressure on Batangas-EAC (3-5) in the race for the last semifinal ticket. An EAC loss to Che’Lu Bar and Grill later in the day will take the Generals out of the playoff picture.
Rich Guinitaran also waxed hot and drilled five treys for his 15, while Cameroonian big man Gilles Oloume dominated the paint with his 12 points, 17 boards and three blocks.
“It’s very important that we got the win here against AMA. We can’t let the other teams do the dirty work for us. We gotta take care of things for us,” said acting coach Derrick Pumaren.
CEU erected a 46-31 halftime lead and extended it to 21 points, 61-40, after Orlan Wamar’s jumper in the third frame. That proved to be enough as the Scorpions held off the Titans’ late rally in the fourth.
“As I've told the boys, it's not all about Xs and Os. The thing is you have to have the heart, the will to win, and the passion to win because AMA is 0-8, right? We can’t have the attitude na kayang-kaya namin,” Pumaren said. “Kung kaya namin, we have to show it on the floor, and I think we were able to show that.”
Domark Matillano led the cellar-dwelling AMA (0-9) with 23 points and seven rebounds, as Fil-Canadian forward Owen Graham got 15 points and 13 boards.
With Kate Reyes
CEU 82 – Chan 30, Guinitaran 15, Oloume 12, Fuentes 7, Formento 6, Uri 6, Ke. Caballero 2, Intic 2, Wamar 2, Ko. Caballero 0, Rojas 0.
AMA Online 71 – Matillano 23, Graham 15, Garcia 13, Alao 6, Barde 5, Soriano 5, Cariaga 2, Jordan 2, Asuncion 0, Sabile 0, Rivera 0.
Quarterscores: 27-14; 46-31; 64-50; 82-71.