Just like in their last game against the Far Eastern University Tamaraws, the Jose Rizal University (JRU) Heavy Bombers avoided a late game collapse once again, in a narrow 72-66 victory over the College of Saint Benilde (CSB) Blazers Monday, at the Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan City.
CSB’s JJ Domingo and JRU’s Tey Teodoro went head-to-head as the two exchanged baskets in the opening minutes of the game. Teodoro punched in five points in the opening half of the quarter, while Domingo scored four of his own to keep the game close, 9-8 in favor of JRU. Heavy Bombers big man, Abdel Poutouochi, made his presence known afterwards in assisting on a layup by Marco Balagtas, and a layup of his own, to give JRU a five point lead. Not to be outdone, CSB big man, Fons Saavedra, scored six points of his own in the quarter from three-point country to shorten the score gap. JRU held a 17 to 14 lead at the end of the first quarter.
In the second quarter, the Heavy Bombers went on an 8-2 run to extend their lead. After scoring on two straight baskets to trim the deficit, an unsportsmanlike foul by Mark Delavirgen on JJ Domingo was called at the 3:53 mark of the quarter that gave the Blazers the momentum to make a run. Tey Teodoro quelled CSB by making the right stops on defense. However, back-to-back triples by CSB rookie, Carlo Young, gave his team a two point lead with 23 seconds left in the quarter. However, a triple by Teodoro, his ninth point in the quarter, gave JRU a solitary point to keep the lead going into halftime.
After a close third quarter that saw CSB gain a one-point lead going into the final stanza of the game, the Heavy Bombers executed their defense, employing a trap, that led to points on the other end to give JRU a nine-point lead with 3:25 remaining. In that time frame, Teodoro scored four of his game high 20 points, while Marco Balagtas scored four of his own as well. With three minutes remaining, JJ Domingo attacked the paint to find Ongtengco for a lay-up. A turnover by JRU led to a fastbreak layup by Romeo Nayve to cut the deficit to four. However, missed free throw conversions by the Blazers and two missed wide-open layups by Ongtengco kept the JRU lead to three with a minute remaining. Furthermore, Teodoro and Abdel Poutouochi calmly sank their free throws in the dying minutes of the game to stave off the CSB Blazers and gain their second win in the tournament.
Even with a 2-0 record in the preseason tournament, Coach Vergel Meneses was still not impressed with his team’s performance. “We are still in a process. We have to improve in every facet of our game especially on defense. We can score anytime, kasi mas maraming offensive player ngayon. I’m emphasizing on defense kasi yung ang madadala sa amin sa Final Four ng NCAA.”
Tey Teodoro top scored for the Heavy Bombers with 20 points on 7/14 shooting. For the green side, Fons Saavedra after scoring ten points in the first half did not score again for the Blazers.
JRU (72) – Teodoro 20, Poutouochi 10, Balagtas 8, Gorospe 7, Pontejos 7, Lasquety 6, Delapaz 5, Alrin 5, Sanchez 2, Abdulwahab 2, Delavirgen 0, Astilla 0, David 0
CSB (66) – Ongtengco 12, Saavedra 22, Young 9, Nayve 8, Domingo 7, Fajarito 4, Grey 3, Rivero 3, Castor 2, Deles 2, Sta. Maria 2, San Juan 2, Johnson 1, Domingo 1, De Sequerra 0, Flores 0
Quarters: 17-14 34-33, 52-53, 72-66