AMA repulses gallant Mindanao in OT

By Ivan Saldajeno

SAN JUAN, MM--AMA lost an early 20-point lead but regrouped in overtime to beat Mindanao, 91-85, in their PBA D-League Aspirants Cup game at the FilOil Flying V Centre on Tuesday.

The Titans waxed hot in the first quarter, quickly opening a 30-10 lead late in the period.

But the Aguilas slowly crawled back and took the lead, 71-66, with 7:48 left in regulation.

AMA answered with a 10-0 blast to retake the lead, 76-71, with 4:12 to go in the fourth quarter.

Mindanao then responded with four straight points to cut the lead to just one, 76-75, with 2:45 remaining in regulation.

Dan Alberto made two free throws to extend the Titans' advantage to three, 78-75, as defense ruled almost the last 2:26 of regulation.

But Oda Tampus fouled Robby Celiz while the latter was taking a triple with 15.3 seconds left in regulation. Celiz made all his three charities to tie the game, 78-all.

AMA had its first chance of averting Mindanao's comeback bid, but the team failed to score at the final buzzer.

Both teams exchanged splits from the free throw line to start the overtime period before RR De Leon scored back-to-back baskets to give AMA an 84-81 lead with 2:17 left.

Celiz brought Mindanao back to within one with a basket with 2:04 remaining, but Rashawn McCarthy buried a clutch triple to put AMA up, 87-83, in the next play. McCarthy would add a split from the line and another dagger basket to ice the match.

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