San Sebatian College-Recoletos banked on an explosive third quarter to clobber Jose Rizal University (JRU), 85-73, and advance to the next stage of the stepladder semifinals of the National Collegiate Association of the Philippines (NCAA) Season 93 basketball tournament on Friday at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
The Golden Stags heavily outgunned the Heavy Bombers in the third period, 30-11, to pull away for good and grab the right to battle San Beda College in the final phase of the semifinals.
“We displayed our hard work and hustle. That’s what happened in the third quarter wherein we had a big lead. It’s all about heart and hard work,” said San Sebastian head coach Egay Macaraya.
“During halftime, we talked about stopping the momentum of JRU. That is why we pushed them on the defensive side and pressured them continuously,” added Macaraya.
RK Ilagan fired a game-high 21 points built on five triples, which the shooting guard notched in the second frame. Allyn Bulanadi chipped in 13 markers and six rebounds for the Stags.
Michael Calisaan, who came off a career-high 36 points, had a quiet performance of 13 points on top of eight boards.
Jed Mendoza paced the Bombers with 20 points, Teytey Teodoro scored 12 markers while MJ Dela Virgen and Ervin Grospe added 11 points apiece.
It was a toe-to-toe fight in the opening quarter with the Bombers holding a narrow 15-12 lead triggered by a 10-2 run.
Ilagan waxed hot from beyond the arc, burying five treys to hand the Stags a 41-32 advantage late in the second period.
San Sebastian’s lead ballooned to 26 points in the pivotal third frame, 71-45, as the Recto-based cagers dropped a 25-4 blast capped by JM Calma’s layup.
Teodoro and Mendoza joined forces to ignite a 15-4 rally and cut JRU’s deficit down to 15 points, 60-75, midway the payoff period.
Mendoza’s three-pointer from the left corner even pushed the Bombers to within 72-82 but with only 51 seconds left.
Alvin Baetiong then sank a basket for the final count as the Stags seal a resounding victory.
Earlier in the juniors division, Will Gozum and Warren Bonifacio starred as Mapua-Malayan High School downed Colegio de San Juan de Letran, 82-80, to advance to the finals even as a Joel Cagulangan-led College of St. Benilde-La Salle Green Hills (CSB-LSGH) trounced San Beda College, 83-72, to forge a do-or-die game.
Gozum sizzled with 24 points to go with nine rebounds while Bonifacio tallied a double-double of 16 markers and as many boards as the Red Robins booked a return trip to the championship series.
Cagulangan, meanwhile, erupted for 27 points on top of six boards and five assists to lead the Junior Blazers.
SAN SEBASTIAN (85)– Ilagan 21, Calisaan 13, Bulanadi 13, David 10, Calma 9, Gayosa 7, Costelo 5, Navarro 3, Baetiong 2, Mercado 2, Capobres 0, Valdez 0.
JRU (73)– Mendoza 20, Teodoro 12, Dela Virgen 11, Grospe 11, Poutouochi 8, Abdul Razak 6, Sawat 3, Lasquety 2, Bordon 0.
Quarterscores: 12-15, 41-34, 71-45, 85-73
CSB-LSGH (83)– Cagulangan 27, Marcos 17, Fornilos 11, Lao 11, David 7, Sangco 5, Mosqueda 3, Perez 2, Morales 0, Cruz 0, Lepalam 0, Pedrosa 0.
SAN BEDA (72)– Mahinay 13, Nelle 11, Velasquez 9, Sese 8, Obenza 7, Tagala 6, Abu Hijleh 6, Alfaro 5, Etrata 4, Dela Rosa 3, Garcia 0, Lagumen 0, Oliva 0.
Quarterscores: 28-27, 48-44, 67-55, 83-72
MAPUA-MALAYAN (82)– Gozum 24, Bonifacio 16, Escamis 13, Lacap 12, Enriquez 7, Garcia 4, Jabel 4, Socias 2, Arches 0.
LETRAN (80)– Cordero 16, Monje 15, Guarino 12, Aniban 10, Tolentino 9, Peralta 6, Labrador 6, Tamayo 4, Fuentes 2, Reyson 0, Ganapathy 0, Culanay 0, Tabajen 0, Montes 0.
Quarterscores: 24-20, 44-39, 57-58, 82-80