By Waylon Galvez
Games Tomorrow(Mapua Gym, Intramuros Manila)
1 p.m. – Mapua vs St. Benilde (Jrs)
4 p.m. – Mapua vs St. Benilde (Srs)
Jose Rizal University came through with an impressive ‘character’ win after the Heavy Bombers scored a 71-66 victory over the University of Perpetual Help System DALTA in the 95th NCAA men’s basketball tournament Tuesday at The Arena in San Juan.
JRU took advantage from a five-minute technical break as it regrouped after Perpetual Help came back and threatened to turn things around when the Bombers unleashed a decisive 13-2 run in a span of four minutes that turned a 56-53 lead to 69-55 with 3:50 left in the game.
The lull was due to a malfunctioning shot clock at the backboard that forced table officials to fix it, and JRU’s new head coach Louie Gonzales used that to encourage his players to refocus.
“During the lull, I told the players to make this lull an advantage for us,” said Gonzales. “They were composed. Our treatment in every game is to learn because this is a young team, we’re trying to build a foundation.”
In that run by JRU, Ry dela Rosa scored six points as he buried two three-point baskets, while John delos Santos contributed a trey, Marq Dionisio and John Amores had two points apiece.
Perpetual Help cut the deficit to 71-66, but Jose Rizal held on by playing tough defense down the stretch, including two offensive rebounds on separate occasions including one by Dionisio with 20 seconds left.
The win was Jose Rizal’s second straight after beating season host Arellano University, 80-77, last Friday following a 0-3 start. Amores led the Bombers with 15 points, while dela Rosa, Dionisio and Fil-German Stefan Steinl chipped in 12 points each, and Agen Miranda had 11 points.
Gonzales said that brining in four Light Bomber players to the seniors team in Amores, Dionisio, delos Santos and Thomas Vasquez provides the team chemistry that they bring to the team.
“It’s really big for us the cohesiveness of the four players. I really ride on that (chemistry),” said Gonzales.
As for Perpetual Help, the loss was its third straight after it won its first game against Mapua (80-78). Kim Aurin led the Altas with 14 points, while Edgar Charcos and Rey Peralta had 13 points each.
Jose Rizal’s defense dictated the game’s tempo early as it limited Perpetual Help only to 10-of-28 (35.71%) from the field, scoring 20 points inside the shaded lane as opposed to its opponent’s eight points.
Amores and Dionisio combined for 21 points in the first quarter as the Bombers took a 41-28 lead at the break.
In the junior’s division, Glolam Garcia fired 31 points as the JRU Light Bombers downed the Perpetual Help Altalettes, 88-83, while the San Sebastian Staglets edged the Lyceum of the Philippines University Junior Pirates, 82-74.
Meanwhile, Lyceum of the Philippines University dealt San Sebastian College its first defeat this season as the Pirates came through with an 80-69 win versus the Stags in the second game.
Jayvee Marcelino led a balanced attack by LPU as he scattered 12 points, while his ‘twin’ brother Jaycee Marcelino, Renzo Navarro and Enoch Valdez added 11 points each, and Jayson David had 10 points.
The win was LPU’s second straight as it improved to 3-1 to tie Letran for third and fourth places behind three-time defending champion San Beda University at 3-0 and College of St. Benilde at 2-0.
SSC fell to solo fifth at 2-1.
Jerrick Balanza collected 22 points as Letran extended its win streak to four following a thrilling 91-89 win opposite Emilio Aguinaldo College in the third senior’s game.
With the Knights up by a single point, Bonbon Batiller split his free throws, which gave Letran a 91-89 lead.
Letran got the offensive rebound but – after he was sent to the line again – Batiller missed his two free throws. However, EAC’s Renz Gonzales missed a potential game-winning triple at the buzzer.
The win improved Letran’s record to 4-1 for solo second in the standings, while EAC dropped to 1-3.
Tags: 95th ncaa men's basketball, Arellano University, Bonbon Batiller, College of St. Benilde, Emilio Aguinaldo College, Jaycee Marcelino, Jayvee Marcelino, Jerrick Balanza, Jose Rizal University, JRU Light Bombers, Louie Gonzales, Lyceum of the Philippines, Lyceum of the Philippines University, Marcelino, NCAA, NCAA 95, Renzo Navarro, Rey Peralta, San Sebastian, San Sebastian College, San Sebastian Staglets, University of Perpetual Help System Dalta