MANILA -- Jose Rizal University (JRU) leaned on a double-digit lead to weather a furious resurgence by Emilio Aguinaldo College (EAC) and escape with an 81-79 win in the 90th NCAA basketball tournament at The Arena in San Juan City on Friday.
Philip Paniamogan and Jaypee Asuncion paced their team with 18 and 15 points, respectively, but it was rookie Bernabe Teodoro who sparked the run that gave the Bombers a 13-point third quarter lead against the Generals.
Teodoro, a 20-year-old native of Lucena, Quezon, scored 8 of his 14 points in the third canto including a triple that hiked the Bombers lead to 66-53 lead with 52 seconds go.
"The important thing was we showed composure," said Jose Rizal coach Vergel Meneses.
The win sent JRU to solo third with a 5-3 record and will try to close its first round campaign on a bright note by taking on Mapua Institute of Technology.
Meneses was quick to say that there is nothing to celebrate just yet. "This is a long tournament and we've not even played half of our games so there is no reason to celebrate early," he said.
John Tayongtong pulled the Generals back into the game after he scored 10 of his game-high 21 points in the fourth quarter.
Tayongtong though missed a potential game-winning three-pointer instead of passing out to an open teammate, Ariel Aguilar.
The Generals fell to 2-6 (win-loss).
Jose Rizal 81- Paniamogan 18, Asuncion 15, Teodoro 14, Sanchez 11, Mabulac 8, Grospe 6, Abdul Wahab 4, Benavides 3, Salaveria 2
EAC 79- Tayongtong 21, Happi 12, Arquero 12, Onwubere 11, Aguilar 10, Serrano 5, Santos 4, Jamon 4, Pascual 0
Quarterscores: 18-24; 38-44; 66-56; 81-79