Cebuana outlasts AMA in overtime

Games Today Ynares Arena
1 p.m. – Café France vs AMA
3 p.m. – Tanduay Light vs Cagayan

Simon Enciso made two clutch baskets as Cebuana Lhuillier held off AMA University, 97-90, in overtime on Thursday in the PBA D-League Foundation Cup at the Ynares Arena.

The Titans held a one point lead with 1:23 left in overtime before Enciso took over as the Gems closed out the extra period with an 8-0 run and avoided an impending defeat.

Enciso, who came off the bench and scored eight points, hit a short jumper over Dexter Maiquez to put Cebuana ahead to stay, 91-90 with 67 second remaining on the extra period. Mo Tautuaa stole off Maiquez in the ensuing play that led to another basket by Enciso for three point lead with 39 seconds left.

“I thought [Simon] made good decisions with the game on the line. He didn’t mature the way we expect last conference. But we challenged him to step up this conference and he’s responding well,” said Cebuana Lhuillier coach Boysie Zamar.

But he was disappointed with the way they played the second half.

“We had to pass this way. The players thought they’re invincible. Once you think that way, you expose your weakness. But I thought we did a good job making some stops down the stretch,” Zamar noted.

Tautuaa registered his fifth double-double with 30 points and 19 rebounds to show the way for the unbeaten Gems, who rolled to their six consecutive win and an outright semifinal berth.

AMA picked up its second straight loss and fell into a tied with Hapee and Jumbo Plastic in a three-team logjam for 5 to seventh spots with 2-3 record.

Cebuana fell behind by 11 points in the early going after a poor start. But the Gems slowly inched their way back with Tautuaa leading a bristling charge. A 24-6 run between the first and second quarter shove Cebuana in the lead, 34-27.

In the second game, CafeFrance hardly broke a sweat as it dispatched Livermarin with relative ease, 79-55, to improve to 4-1 in the conference. The win allowed them to keep in step with the Gems at the top as the two look poised to take the one-two automatic semifinals incentive.

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Written by Johnny Lugay

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