DAVE Sanchez scored on a follow-up with only 2.3 seconds to lead Jose Rizal University Heavy Bombers past previously unbeaten University of Perpetual Help Altas, 62-61, on Wednesday in the 90th National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) basketball tournament elimination round at the San Juan Arena.
Sanchez’ winning basket inside the paint actually came after Philip Paniamogan missed a triple in the right corner. The victory, their third in six matches dealt the Altas their first setback in four outings.
Coach Vergel Meneses expressed elation over their victory, which moved host Heavy Bombers to solo fourth behind four-pear titlist San Beda College Red Lions (5-0), UPSHD Altas (3-1), San Sebastian College Stags (3-1) and Arellano University Chiefs (3-1) and Lyceum Pirates (3-2).
It was a sorry loss for the Altas, who were leading by as much as eight points, 37-29, some 54 seconds remaining in the second quarter.
But the Heavy Bombers, who won a collegiate cage title for the last time in 1972, refused to bow down and tied the match for the 11th time, 55-55, on Paniamogan’s back-to-back baskets still 3:20 to go.
Abdulwahab Abdul Razak of Ghana, Africa, scored on a follow-up off a miss by Sanchez to grab the lead for the Heavy Bombers, 57-55, still 2:41 remaining. Then Paniamogan completed the Heavy Bombers comeback by hitting a triple on top of the key to stretch the gap to five points, 60-55, only two minutes remaining.
Paniamogan led the Heavy Bombers with 16 points on six-of-18 shooting in the field goal and three rebounds. Juneric Baloria of the Altas led all scorers with 25 points including 16 in the first half, while Harold Arboleda finished with 11 points and 16 rebounds.