HAPEE won over AMA University, 69-61, on Monday in its first game in the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup on Monday at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
Troy Rosario scored 12 points, Bobby Ray Parks added 11, while Garvo Lanete had 10 for the Fresh Fighters, who led by as many as 20 points but allowed the Titans to trim it in the endgame.
Hapee, expected to dominate with a squad loaded with top players from the UAAP and NCAA, surprisingly struggled to put the Titans away.
But to Hapee coach Ronnie Magsanoc, the close win was no surprise.
“We need to work on everything. Tatlong araw pa lang kami nag-eensayo ng magkakasama,” said Magsanoc.
A triple by Lanete put the Fresh Fighters ahead, 52-32. The Titans came as close as three points after a basket by Joseph Eriobu, 62-59, midway in the fourth but the Fresh Fighters managed to convert baskets and hold them off.
Philip Paniamogan had 14 points while Eriobu added 12 for the Titans.
Hapee (69) – Rosario 12, Parks 11, Lanete 10, Adeogun 7, Dela Cruz 6, Amer 5, Van Opstal 4, Newsome 4, Hayes 3, Long 2, Koga 0.
AMA (61) – Paniamogan 14, Eriobu 12, Camasura 8, Taganas 7, Oliveres 7, Purdy 4, Sabangan 4, Balucanag 2, Angeles 2, Macaranas 1, Jordan 0, Diswe 0.
Quarterscores: 15-13; 41-28; 58-48; 69-61.