|Prince Eze went 20-20 again. PBA Media Bureau|
By Dugout Philippines
QUEZON CITY--Perpetual stayed in the hunt for a playoff berth in the PBA D-League Aspirants' Cup with an 89-81 victory over AMA Online Education on Monday at the JCSGO Gym.
Nigerian big man Prince Eze showed the way for the Altas with 22 points, 20 rebounds, and four blocks as Perpetual snapped a three-game losing slide.
Rey Anthony Peralta poured 12 of his 17 markers in the telling third quarter to help Perpetual extend a five-points halftime lead to 69-44.
John Rey Villanueva drilled 13 points, including three triples, while Edgar Charcos wound up with 13 markers, eight assists, and six rebounds.
The Altas appeared to be cruising home after taking a sizable lead in the third frame, but James Martinez singlehandedly carried AMA on his back and made the game interesting, 84-79 with 57 remaining.
But Villanueva connected on an open three before Eze made an easy layup to keep AMA at bay.
"Nag-relax eh. Tsaka nag-iisip ng puntos yung mga players. So we just have to be unselfish pagdating sa ganoon and just try to get the win instead," said coach Frankie Lim.
At 3-5, the Altas still have a remote chance to make it to the top six provided they sweep their remaining games.
Apparently, that's exactly what Lim has in mind as the Altas continue its preparation for the collegiate season.
"We'll try to come up with a game plan for our next few games and hope we make it. It's good for the team," he said.
Robbie Manalang paced AMA with 23 points, while Martinez chipped in 18 markers.
The Titans join Batangas-EAC and JRU at the bottom of the standings at 1-7.
PERPETUAL 89 -- Eze 22, Peralta 17, Charcos 13, Villanueva 13, Precillas 10, Coronel 8, Tiburcio 3, Salvador 2, Mangalino 1, Antonio 0, Aurin 0, Pido 0, Tamayo 0.
AMA ONLINE EDUCATION 81 -- Manalang 23, Martinez 18, Lao 15, Antonares 10, C. Escalambre 9, Quijano 3, Taganas 2, J. Escalambre 1, Garcia 0, Velasquez 0.
Quarters: 22-18, 41-36, 70-51, 89-81.
Follow the site on Twitter: @DugoutPH