MANILA, Philippines -- EcoOil-La Salle secured the No. 2 seed in the 2022 PBA D-League Aspirants' Cup after a comfortable 92-49 victory against hapless AMA Online, Tuesday at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
Despite playing without Gilas Pilipinas forward Kevin Quiambao, La Salle still rolled to victory behind Raven Cortez who contributed 21 points and 12 rebounds.
Aaron Buensalida, Benjamin Phillips and Isaiah Blanco all reached double-digits, as the Green Archers finished the elimination round with a 5-2 win-loss record.
They join top-seeded Apex Fuel-San Sebastian in the Final 4, where they await the winners of the quarterfinals featuring Adalem Construction-St. Clare, Marinerong Pilipino, CEU and Builders Warehouse-UST.
"We wanted to be in the No. 2 spot so napaka-importante nito sa amin kasi we go to the semis right away," said assistant coach Gabby Velasco, who spoke in lieu of chief tactician Derrick Pumaren.
La Salle opened the game with a 19-6 run, and led, 46-19, at the halftime break. Their advantage ballooned to 44 points, as they thoroughly stifled AMA in the game.
John Cris Yambao was the only bright spot for AMA with 18 points, a rebound, an assist and a steal.
AMA finished the tourney at the cellar with a listless 0-7 card, joining Wangs Basketball @26-Letran to the exit door of the eight-team tournament that marked its return from a two-year hiatus amid the pandemic.
EcoOil-La Salle 92 - Cortez 21, Buensalida 12, B. Phillips 11, Blanco 10, Austria 9, Escandor 9, Nwankwo 6, Estacio 5, M. Phillips 5, Macalalag 4, Alao 3.
AMA Online 49 - Yambao 18, Baclig 6, Villamor 6, Ceniza 6, Pineda 3, Malones 3, Cruz 2, Reyes 2, Gonzales 2, Kapunan 1, Cruz 0, Fuentes 0, Camay 0.
Quarters: 19-6, 46-19, 75-37, 92-49.