Akari-Adamson gets back on win track after holding off late Go for Gold rally
Jonathan Espeleta scored 19 of his 24 points in the first quarter. Dante Peralta

AKARI-Adamson doused a late-game Go for Gold fightback to escape with a 98-92 win in the PBA D-League Aspirants' Cup on Tuesday at the Pasig City Sports Center.

Jonathan Espeleta fired 24 points, including 19 in the opening quarter as to set the tone for Akari-Adamson.

Sean Manganti and Kurt Lojera added 14 and 13 points, respectively, as Akari-Adamson improved to a 2-1 card.

The Falcons zoomed to a 32-18 start behind Espeleta's outburst and remained in control before the Scratchers came alive in the fourth period.

After being down by as much as 25 points, the Scratchers cut the gap down to six, 80-86 on Jjay Alejandro's basket.

But the Falcons were quick to restore order and made sure to stay in control for the rest of the match.

"Actually - nothing against Go for Gold, they played well - But we're trying to experiment. We have six new guys. We're tyring to make sure they get minutes," said Akari-Adamson coach Franz Pumaren.

"That's why we're here: to explore teams and see what players capable doing, and assess everything. It's more of preparation for us for bigger leagues," he added 

Alejandro had 19 points for the Scratchers, who dropped to 1-2.


The Scores:

AKARI-ADAMSON 98 — Espeleta 24, Manganti 14, Lojera 13, Lastimosa 12, Ahanmisi 11, Sarr 10, Catapusan 4, Buenaventura 3, Bernardo 2, Hill 2, Macion 2, Mojica 1, Camacho 0, Longalong 0.

GO FOR GOLD 92 — Alejandro 19, Salem 15, Dixon 12, Gutang 12, Casiño 9, Domingo 6, Gaco 6, Leutcheu 6, Pasturan 3, Naboa 2, Pili 2, Young 0.

Quarterscores: 32-18, 56-40, 74-60, 98-92. 

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