MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE) – Defending champions San Sebastian Stags foiled the Jose Rizal U Heavy Bombers, 72-59, in the 86th NCAA men’s basketball tournament to extend their winning run to 6.
Sophomore Calvin Abueva came out with double-double figures, churning out 16 points and grabbing 15 rebounds to lead the Stags past the Bombers during Friday's game.
JRU was down by 4 points in the 1st quarter, 20-16, when San Sebastian’s Abueva, Ian Sangalang and Ronald Pascual triggered a scorching run in the 2nd quarter to bury the Bombers, 35-24.
The Bombers, led by Cameroonian John Njei, momentarily regained their composure in the 3rd to score 17 points against the Stag’s 16.
Their efforts, however, proved futile as San Sebastian was already enjoying a 15-point cushion over JRU in the final 2 minutes of the game, 68-53.
San Sebastian now shares the league leadership with last year’s runner up, San Beda College. Both teams display a clean 6-0 card.
JRU, meanwhile, absorbed its 2nd setback in 6 games.
The other match saw Mapua beating Letran, 66-51, for their 3rd win in 5 starts.
Mark Acosta scored 20 points on 5-of-8 perimeter shooting to help the Cardinals win against the Knights.
Letran fell to its 4th loss against 1 win.