San Sebastian's Jon Ortuoste (13) attempts a layup against JRU's Marco Balagtas (12). Photo by Mark Cristino for ABS-CBNnews.com
MANILA, Philippines – The San Sebastian College Golden Stags overcame a double-digit deficit in the fourth period and struck hard in overtime as they stunned the Jose Rizal University (JRU) Heavy Bombers, 91-89, to claim their first win in the NCAA Season 91 men's basketball tournament Tuesday at the Arena in San Juan.
After losing their first game against Mapua Institute of Technology wherein they squandered a lead in the fourth quarter, the Stags showed greater composure this time around as they held off a late charge by the Heavy Bombers in the overtime period.
"I hope this is the start of something good," said San Sebastian's rookie coach Rodney Santos. "I know a win is nothing in this league, but for me as a new coach, masaya na ako na naka-isang panalo ako dito. 'Yun ang pinapanalangin ko – give me one win and tingnan natin ang mangyayari sa susunod na game."
The Stags overhauled a 12-point deficit in the fourth, thanks to the combined efforts of Ryan Costelo, Michael Calisaan, Bradwyn Guinto and Jamil Ortuoste. It was Costelo's scoop lay-up that tied the game at 76-all with 32.2 seconds to go in the fourth period.
JRU muffled a chance to win the game in regulation when Dave Sanchez turned the ball over along the sideline with 10 seconds to go, and Costelo also misfired on a potential game-winning attempt for San Sebastian.
Costelo made up for his miss in regulation by drawing a foul on JRU's Cris Dela Paz while shooting a three-pointer with less than four minutes to go in overtime. He coolly made all three charities to give the Stags the lead for good, 79-76.
Guinto then scored back-to-back buckets to push the lead to 83-76 with less than three minutes remaining.
The Heavy Bombers still had a chance after Dela Paz drained three free throws off an Ortuoste foul that made it 86-89, and after Calisaan's split at the line, Dela Paz splashed a step-back three-pointer that made it a one-point game, 89-90, with 2.3 seconds to go.
But Ortuoste's split at the line with 1.6 seconds to go proved to be enough of a buffer as Dave Sanchez's heave from half court did not draw iron.
"I'm very proud sa mga bata, kasi we were down by 11 and sabi ko, just keep your composure and shy away from the system," said Santos. "That's the tendency of a player na kapag nape-pressure ka, nawawala ka sa opensa."
The Stags erased the deficit by pressing the Heavy Bombers, as the JRU guards proved unable to handle the full court pressure unleashed by San Sebastian.
"Sabi ko, they're not that disciplined enough to handle the pressure," said Santos. "Napansin ko lang, and nag-work naman kahit papaano, nakabalik kami."
It was the second straight loss for the Heavy Bombers, who lost to the Letran College Knights in their previous game – another team that also utilizes a full court pressure.
The Heavy Bombers were unable to completely put the Stags away even after taking a 51-38 lead midway through the third quarter, with Guinto sparking a 11-0 run that made it a two-point game, 49-51, with 2:38 to go in the period.
After the Bombers took a 65-53 lead early in the fourth, it was Costelo's turn to lead a rally, as he drained a three-pointer that kicked off a 13-2 run that brought the Stags to within one point, 66-67, and it was a nip-and-tuck game from that point.
Costelo finished with 15 points – all of which came in the fourth quarter and overtime – while also adding eight rebounds. Guinto, matched up against a taller JRU frontline, finished with 17 points and 20 rebounds. Ortuoste added 18 points and five assists.
Calisaan finished with a team-high 22 points to go along with nine rebounds.
The Heavy Bombers were led by Bernabe Teodoro, who scored 15 points but also turned the ball over six times. Paolo Pontejos added 14 points but shot only four of 17 from the field, including one of nine from beyond the arc.
San Sebastian is now 1-1 this season, while JRU drops to 1-2.
SSC-R 91 – Calisaan 22, Ortuoste 18, Guinto 17, Costelo 15, Fabian 5, Santos 4, Mercado 4, Bulanadi 3, Capobres 2, Bragais 1, Sibal 0, Pretta 0, Vera 0, David 0.
JRU 89 – Teodoro 15, Pontejos 14, Dela Paz 12, Grospe 11, Poutouochi 10, Sanchez 6, Estrella 5, Balagts 4, Lasquety 4, Dela Virgen 3, Cruz 3, Abdul Wahab 2, Astilla 0, Aurin 0.
Quarter-scoring: 17-20, 34-37, 53-56, 76-76, 91-89