A Green Archer goes for a winner as La Salle routs AMA Online, 126-43 (Photo courtesy of ABS-CBN)
MANILA — In a remarkable display of dominance, EcoOil-La Salle delivered an 83-point blowout, defeating AMA Online with a final score of 126-43 in the 2023 Aspirants’ Cup. This victory not only secured a win for La Salle but also set a new record for the largest winning margin in PBA D-League history. The game took place at the Ynares Sports Arena on Thursday, May 25.
Right from the start, the Green Archers raced to a commanding 34-4 lead, leaving the Titans helpless and demoralized. This impressive performance surpassed the previous D-League record of a 76-point winning margin held by Tanduay, achieved in a match against Zark’s Burgers during the 2017 Foundation Cup.
With this win, EcoOil-La Salle improved its standing to 4-1 in the team rankings, joining Marinerong Pilipino-San Beda at the top spot. Moreover, this victory significantly strengthens their chances of securing a top-two finish in the elimination round, guaranteeing them a spot in the semifinals.
Ben Phillips and Raven Cortez showcased their dominance in the paint, each contributing 19 points to the Green Archers’ impressive tally. Notably, every player who stepped onto the court made a scoring contribution, highlighting the team’s depth and overall performance.
Bright Nwankwo, Francis Escandor, Mark Nonoy, and Aaron Buensalida also played crucial roles, adding 15, 14, 13, and 11 points, respectively.
“We didn’t focus on the [winning margin] record. While it’s great that we surpassed it, our main focus was on improving as a team. It was an opportunity for us to grow, and we made it clear before the game that we wouldn’t underestimate any team,” said Gian Nazario, the assistant coach of La Salle.
“Despite this dominant game against AMA, we believe there are still areas where we can improve,” added Nazario. EcoOil-La Salle has one more important game remaining against Wangs Basketball @27 Strikers-Letran (2-2) on Thursday, which will take place at the same venue.
For the Titans, Earl Ceniza and Reed Baclig were the leading scorers with 10 points each. Unfortunately, AMA concluded their campaign without a single win, finishing at 0-6.
EcoOil-DLSU 126 – Cortez 19, B. Phillips 19, Nwankwo 15, Escandor 14, Nonoy 13, Buensalida 11, Gollena 8, Alao 6, Abadam 5, M. Phillips 5, David 4, Estacio 4, Nelle 3.
AMA Online 43 – Ceniza 10, Baclig 10, Dela Rosa 5, Golloso 4, Alina 3, Cantoma 3, Del Pilar 3, Bentulan 2, Panlilio 2, Fernandez 1, Yambao 0, Silvarez 0, Geronga 0, Macaranas 0.
Quarterscores: 42-10, 80-29, 109-41, 126-43.