Jose Rizal University needs to keep winning to stay ahead of the six other squads still in the running for the last two playoff berths in the NCAA 93 Men’s Basketball Tournament.
The Heavy Bombers did just that on Friday at the Filoil Flying V Centre, hanging a noose around the heads of University of Perpetual Help right from tip-off before keeping it tight the rest of the way for a resounding rout, 85-52.
Vergel Meneses’ wards lived up to their billing as a stout defensive squad and held their opponents to single-digits in scoring for the first 16 minutes of the game. “Our defense ang main (key) kanina. Good defense, naging good offense,” the head coach said.
Indeed, the defensive intensity carried over to the other end where MJ Dela Virgen steered JRU to a strong 29-9 start.
Flash Sadiwa had back-to-back hits to finally let the Altas breach double-digits only to see Teytey Teodoro pour in all eight of his points in the 10-2 counter that increased his team’s advantage to 39-15.
The game wouldn’t be a close as the Heavy Bombers even had a massive 35-point margin.
Dela Virgen wound up with 18 points and eight assists while Jed Mendoza also chipped in 12 markers and six boards of his own.
Cameroonian Abdel Poutouochi also turned in his best outing in the season with 16 points and seven rebounds to help JRU bounce back now onto an 8-6 standing.
They stay ahead of 7-6 San Sebastian College-Recoletos, 7-7 Colegio de San Juan de Letran, 6-8 Emilio Aguinaldo College, 5-9 Arellano University, and 4-9 Perpetual. “We have to stay focused. We’re not yet in and every game counts,” Meneses said.
Prince Eze was the lone bright spot for the Altas with 23 points, 20 rebounds, and four blocks.
With their third consecutive defeat, they are now in the brink of elimination.
JRU 85 – Dela Virgen 18, Poutouochi 16, Mendoza 12, Grospe 8, David 8, Teodoro 8, Lasquety 6, Abdul Razak 5, Bordon 2, Mariano 2, Mate 0, Pontejos 0, Sibangan 0, Sawat 0
PERPETUAL 52 – Eze 23, Pido 8, Sadiwa 8, Tamayo 3, Mangalino 3, Hao 3, Coronel 2, Ylagan 2, Dagangon 0, Casas 0, Clemente 0, Singontiko 0, Yuhico 0, Lucente 0
QUARTER SCORES: 17-5, 39-15, 64-39, 85-52
This story was originally published on the ABS-CBN Sports website.