Marinerong Pilipino proved why it is regarded as one of the conference's favorites, whipping AMA Online Education, 95-83, at the start of the PBA D-League Foundation Cup on Monday at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
The Skippers matched everyone's expectations as they dominated the Titans down low, winning the battle of the boards, 73-43, as well as grabbing 21 offensive boards that led to 30 second chance points.
Jorey Napoles orchestrated the opening day win with 25 points, 15 rebounds, and five blocks as the Skippers started their campaign on a good note.
Also helping Marinerong Pilipino's cause were Trevis Jackson, who collected 13 points, three boards, and three assists, and Franky Jackson, who finished with 13.
Fielding in a revamped roster wasn't a problem at all for coach Koy Banal as the TIP Engineers core perfectly meshed with his top guys like Jackson, Javi Gomez de Lia?o, and Robbie Manalang.
"Hindi na masyado nahirapan yung players mag-adjust. They know each other and although they are young, what we have is a solid team," he said.
It shouldn't come as a surprise, also, that it helped Marinerong Pilipino jump ahead, 49-30 at the half, and even erected 21-point advantages at numerous points in the third frame.
Irvin Palencia carried AMA with 18 points, six assists, and three rebounds in the defeat.
MARINERONG PILIPINO 95 -- Napoles 25, Jackson 13, Johnson 13, Gomez de Lia?o 11, Ndiaye 11, Manalang 6, Thiele 6, Medina 4, Matignas 2, B. Santos 2, Soriano 2, Ramos 0, I. Santos 0, Toth 0.
AMA ONLINE EDUCATION 83 -- Palencia 18, Liwag 17, Garcia 16, Graham 11, Lao 6, Marata 4, Matillano 4, Alao 3, Barde 2, Nacpil 2, Alvarez 0, Cariaga 0, Sabile 0, Soriano 0.
Quarters: 18-13, 49-30, 77-56, 95-83.