Season-host Jose Rizal University opened the NCAA Season 99 Seniors Basketball Tournament with a statement, shocking defending champion Colegio de San Juan de Letran in overtime, 85-79, on Sunday at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
JRU’s Miranda would end up outscoring the entire Letran squad 7-6 in overtime, knocking down three crucial free throws to put the match out of arm’s reach.
Miranda wound up with 17 points to go with three rebounds, three assists, and a steal.
Marwin Dionisio also got 17 points while Shawn Argante added 12 points for the Heavy Bombers, nine of which came in the fourth quarter.
JL Delos Santos glued things together for the Heavy Bombers, dishing out 11 assists to go with nine points.
“Na-wtiness natin yung depth sa bench ko right now. That’s one thing na pinagtrabaho ko in the offseason na we wanted to be unpredictable in terms of usage. Kahit sino puwede pumutok anytime,” said Gonzalez.
The two squads split their season matchups in Season 98, with Letran coming away with the 101-97 victory in the first round, and the Heavy Bombers retaliating with a 87-71 blowout in the second.
Letran controlled the game until the fourth quarter, where JRU’s Shawn Argente caught fire. Facing an eight-point deficit, the sweet-shooting guard hit three of his four threes in the game to help JRU take the lead.
Down three with eight seconds remaining, Letran rookie Deo Cuajao knocked down a corner triple to force overtime, 73-73. Cuajao’s efforts would fall short however, as the Knights would run out of gas in the extra period.
Kurt Reyson led the way for the Knights with 18 points off the bench.
Pampanga big man Kevin Sentos tallied 16 points, nine rebounds, and two steals, while Cuajao and Pao Javillonar chipped 12 points each. Javillonar also grabbed 11 rebounds.
The Heavy Bombers look to build on their hot start against another contender as they are set to take on College of Saint Benilde on Friday at the Filoil Ecooil Centre.
Meanwhile, the Knights look to bounce back in their next matchup against the Lyceum Pirates on Wednesday at 4:00 PM also at the same venue.
JRU 85- Miranda 17, Dionisio 17, Argente 12, Sarmiento 10, delos Santos 9, Guiab 8, de Leon 5, Ramos 4, dela Rosa 3, Arenal 0, Pabico 0, Medina 0, Barrera 0, Sy 0
Letran 79- Reyson 18, Santos 16, Cuajao 12, Javillonar 12, Monje 11, Fahardo 4, Go 4, Ariar 2, Tolentino 0, Galvez 0, Guarino 0, Batallier 0
Quarterscores: 16-24; 39-40; 54-56; 73-73; 85-79