A supposed proper send-off for Jerome Garcia turned into Jed Mendoza’s show.
Mendoza and the Jose Rizal University Heavy Bombers stormed back from a late deficit against the Emilio Aguinaldo College Generals, taking an 81-78 win, Friday afternoon at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
“Compared sa first round talaga namin, way better ang nilalaro namin ngayon. Nakikita mo yung improvements nila,” beamed JRU head coach Vergel Meneses, as the Heavy Bombers raised their slate to 3-14.
Down seven entering the final frame, it was Mendoza who took over scoring 12 of his career-high 26 points during that span. In the last two minutes, he was basically a man possessed.
The 6-foot guard went on a personal 8-2 run – including an unorthodox four-point play to give JRU a 75-74 lead with 1:22 left. JP Magullano answered right back with a hook shot, but the Heavy Bombers were not to be denied as Darius Estrella knock down a triple.
Philip Tampoc had a chance to knot the contest but missed both free throws with 41.2 ticks left. 31 seconds later, Jerome Garcia had a good look but missed as well.
“Ang tingin ko yung naging problema namin is consistency. ‘Pag gusto nila maglaro, maganda nilalaro namin pero ‘pag ayaw nila, wala talaga. Siyempre, mga bago e,” added Meneses.
Darius Estrella added 17 points, while Leo Esguerra chipped in 10 markers.
Magullano led the way for EAC with 15 points and 15 rebounds. Jerome Garcia, who had seven points in the game, and Rustan Bugarin, who played five minutes in the contest, played their final collegiate games.
EAC ended their campaign with a 4-14 record. JRU, on the other hand, play their final game of the season against the CSB Blazers on Tuesday, October 16.
JRU (81) – Mendoza 26, Estrella 17, Esguerra 10, Dela Virgen 9, Silvarez 7, Mallari 5, Bordon 4, Aguilar 3, David 0, Doromal 0, Pascual 0.
EAC (78) – Maguliano 15, Bautista 14, Mendoza 14, Tampoc 13, Cadua 10, Garcia 7, Neri 5, Corilla 0, Diego 0, Bugarin 0, Natividad 0, Gonzales 0, Fuentes 0.
Quarterscores: 19-17, 37-40, 54-61, 81-78