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AMA stays alive

Games Monday (San Juan Arena)
1 pm. – MP Hotel vs Hapee
3 p.m. – Cagayan Valley vs Cebuana Lhuillier

James Martinez tallied a game-high 28 points off the bench and got a whale of support from Jay-R Taganas and Dexter Maiquez, who had double-double effort as AMA University kept its flickering playoff hopes alive with a 99-87 victory against hard-luck MP Hotel on Thursday in the PBA D-League Foundation Cup at the JCSGO Gym in Cubao, Quezon City.

Coming off a two-week break, the Titans appeared rusty and out of game shape but they managed to hang tough in the face of repeated rallies by the Warriors and outplayed their determined opponent down the stretch.

“The long break really threw us out of sync. But the guys never gave up. They kept battling even when things aren’t going well,” said AMA coach Mark Herrera.

“There’s nothing we can do now but wait. But even if we don’t make it to the next round I thought we did well this conference. We are one win up compared to our record last conference. To me that’s a sign of improvement.”

Jumbo Plastic also bolstered its chances for a quarterfinals berth by smothering Liver Marin, 87-66, in the second game.

Philip Paniamogan scored 23 points off the bench so did Denise Villamor, who had 16 points and 10 rebounds, to propel the Giants to their fourth win in eight games and tied idle Kera Mix at fifth and sixth spot.

“Hopefully we could play with the same type of aggressiveness in our last game so we could avoid any complications,” said Jumbo Plastic coach Steven Tiu. The Giants wind up their elimination round assignment against MP Hotel next week.

Bradwyn Guinto scored 17 points and Mike Calisaan added 13 for the Liver Marin, which wound up its campaign with a 1-8 mark.

AMA closed out the eliminations with a 4-5 (win-loss) record and would advance to the quarterfinals should it wound up tied with Kera Mix (4-4) and Jumbo Plastic (3-4) at the end of the elimination round on May 28.

AMA 99 – Martinez 28, King 20, Maiquez 16, Taganas 14, Tampus 12, Joradan 5, Camasura 2, Asuncion 2.

MP Hotel 87 – Nambatac 22, Mirza 13, Colina 11, Dela Pena 11, Acidre 9, Quinto 7, Cruz 7, Mendoza 2, Luib 2, Afreku 2, Custodio 1, Calvo 0.

Quarters: 26-23; 43-46; 70-71; 99-87.

Jumbo Plastic 87 – Paniamogan 23, Villamor 16, Avillanoza 12, Mandani 8, Eguillos 6, Almario 5, Tiongson 4, Khobuntin 4, Perez 4, Sanga 3, Purdy 2, Arellano 0.

Liver Marin 66 – Guinto 17, Calisaan 13, Ignacio 8, Costelo 7, Dela Cruz 5, Fabian 4, Ortuoste 3, Marcus 3, DeVera 2, Santos 2, Bangga 2, Laude 0.

Quarters: 15-11; 36-33; 61-44; 87-66