John Amores impresses in pro debut as Zamboanga opens ABL Invitational campaign with rout of Surabaya

John Amores made a triumphant return with an impressive ABL debut. NCAA (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

PUERTO PRINCESA—John Amores began his road to redemption on a high note as Zamboanga opened its stint in the ABL Invitational with a 108-94 win against Louvre Surabaya on Tuesday night at the OCBC Arena in Singapore.

The wingman proved that his moment of infamy, where he melted down and charged at some College of St. Benilde players in an NCAA game while still with Jose Rizal University, is now a thing of the past as he even became the top local performer for Zamboanga with 16 points, five rebounds, one assist, and two steals off the bench.

More importantly, Amores connived with world imports Antonio Hester, Jeremy Arthur, and Ryan Smith in leading Zamboanga's fourth-quarter domination in which the Filipino squad outscored Surabaya, 43-20 to overturn a 65-74 deficit at the end of the third quarter.

Hester, Terrafirma's import during the 2022 PBA Governors' Cup, led Zamboanga with 35 points on 15-of-26 shooting, 11 rebounds, three assists, and four steals.

Arthur added 21 points, seven rebounds, six assists, and five steals, while Smith chipped in 18 points, 16 rebounds, two assists, three blocks, and four steals off the bench as Zamboanga joins opening night winners Hong Kong Eastern and host team Singapore Slingers at the top of the team standings.

Marcus Hammonds, known locally as a former mainstay with the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 program, showed that he too can be dominant in the 5-on-5 game by leading Surabaya with 32 points, seven rebounds, five assists, and three steals.

Alioune Tew added 24 points, 22 rebounds, two assists, two blocks, and four steals for Surabaya, which fell to a tie with NS Matrix Malaysia and Bangkok at the bottom.

Box Scores: 

Zamboanga 108-Hester 35, Arthur 21, Smith 18, Amores 16, Lingganay 6, CariƱo 2, Cawaling 2, Cadiz 2, Jumao-as 2, Chan 2, Bernardo 2, Belorio 0.

Surabaya 94-Hammonds 32, Tew 23, Enguio 14, Johnson 12, Tuasela 4, Pratama 3, Da Silva 3, Pelmelay 2, Gunawan 0, Saputra 0, Islamy 0.

Quarterscores: 19-24, 39-46, 65-74, 108-74.

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