Paolo Pontejos was the hero the Jose Rizal University Heavy Bombers needed, as he scored the go-ahead layup with 7.2 seconds remaining to secure the 104-103 win over the Go for Gold Scratchers, Tuesday afternoon at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
The veteran guard provided the quick retort for the Heavy Bombers after the returning TY Tang pushed the Scratchers up with a pair of freebies with 16.6 ticks left.
Pontejos’ heroics saved MJ Dela Virgen’s stupendous night, as the sniper shot 6-of-9 from threes to lead JRU with 28 points, five assists, three rebounds, and two steals.
“Hindi na ako nagulat sa nilalaro niya,” said coach Gio Lasquety.
Pontejos also finished with 20 markers, five dimes, and three boards. Jeckster Apinan wound up with 16 points, six rebounds, and four assists, despite the Heavy Bombers losing hold of a 99-90 lead in the last 3:41.
“Nung nakalamang kami ng malaki, medyo nag-relax yung mga players kaya nakabalik sila. Buti nandoon pa rin ang composure ng veterans,” Lasquety said as JRU rose to 2-0.
It was a tough defeat for Go for Gold, as they drew a huge outing from Justin Gutang, who shot 10-of-11 from the field to notch 26 points, six rebounds, and four assists off the bench.
Tang, also serving as one of the Scratchers’ assistant coaches, finished with two points, three assists, and a rebound in his 13 minutes of play.
JRU look to make it three in a row when they face the Perpetual Altas on Tuesday, February 6. Go for Gold, on the other hand, take on the Akari-Adamson Soaring Falcons on Tuesday, February 6.
JRU 104 — Dela Virgen 28, Pontejos 20, Apinan 16, Esguerra 11, Mendoza 11, Tayongtong 11, Grospe 3, Yu 3, Mvogo 1, De Guzman 0.
Go for Gold 103 — Gutang 26, Salem 25, Dixon 11, Naboa 11, Leutcheu 8, Gaco 7, Alejandro 6, Young 5, Domingo 2, Tang 2, San Juan 0.
Quarterscores: 27-25, 49-53, 79-79, 104-103.