The Jose Rizal University (JRU) Heavy Bombers outlasted the Mapua Institute of Technology Cardinals, 65-60 while the Lyceum of the Philippines University Pirates escaped reigning champion Colegio San Juan de Letran Knights, 68-66, in the National Collegiate Athletic Association Season 92 men’s basketball tournament on Thursday at The Arena in San Juan City.
JRU’s shooting guard Teodoro posted 22 points including four triples to help the Heavy Bombers improve its win-loss record to 5-5.
“We cannot afford to lose since it is already the second round,” JRU coach Vergel Meneses told the media during the postgame interview. “It was a roller coaster ride in the first round. After we won, we lost our next game. It can’t be like that, it’s about time.”
Ervin Grospe contributed 14 points while Paolo Pontejos had eight points also for the Heavy Bombers.
On August 9, JRU scored a 79-73 win over erstwhile-undefeated San Beda College.
“I already saw their desire to win. At the same time, they are sharing the ball now,” added Meneses. They also learned how to sacrifice. I didn’t see those things in the first round.”
JRU had a strong first half that resulted in a 35-32 lead at the halftime break. But Mapua outscored them in the third canto, 17-10, behind the effort Allwell Oraeme to snatch the advantage, 49-45, entering the last period.
The Heavy Bombers outscored the Cardinals anew in the payoff period via a 20-11 run highlighted by Teodoro’s seven crucial points that sealed their victory.
Oraeme led the Cardinals with 15 points and 19 rebounds but he committed seven turnovers.
Darell Menina and Joseph Eriobu had 11 points each also for Mapua.
The Cardinals’ win-loss record fell to 6-4.
JRU’s tight defense forced Mapua to commit 21 turnovers and transformed those errors into 12 points. The Heavy Bombers, with 11 turnovers, outscored the Cardinals in the three-point zone (6-1).
Jesper “MJ” Ayaay notched 12 of his 16 points in the payoff period while Wilson Baltazar produced 11 of his 18 points on top of two blocks to lead the Pirates. Shaq Alanes contributed nine points while Mike Nzeusseu had six points and 13 rebounds.
The Knights that absorbed a first round loss from the Pirates, led in the first three quarters – 20-11, 41-37 and 57-51.
But Lyceum surprised them with a 17-9 run capped by Ayaay’s spectacular performance in the last period to seize the win.
Rey Nambatac, who scored 16 of his 24 points in the first half, failed to deliver in the pivotal fourth quarter.
Jom Sollano scored 19 points also for Letran. The Knights just absorbed their third consecutive loss.