San Sebastian College-Recoletos fended off a late Jose Rizal University surge, taking a 70-64 victory to score its third win in the NCAA Season 97 seniors basketball tournament, Tuesday at La Salle Green Hills’ St. Benilde Gym in Mandaluyong City.
San Sebastian trailed by a solitary point at the end of three quarters, but Kenn Villapando and Rommel Calahat picked up from where JM Calma started to eventually shake off another potential heartbreak with an explosive final period.
Villapando opened the quarter with his first five points of the game before pushing the lead to seven, 63-56, from the free-throw line.
Calahat, on his part, scored seven of his 14 points midway into the fourth where he set the biggest lead for San Sebastian at 12, 68-56, with 4:07 remaining.
The Heavy Bombers would mount a late rally and threatened to within four, 64-68, with 1:31 left, with Jason Celis and JL Delos Santos scoring on the 8-0 run.
The Stags, though, made them pay for a missed chance as Villapando found Alex Desoyo for the dagger with just under a minute left as Celis missed on his attempts.
The Stags went up to 3-4, taking themselves out of that logjam for the sixth to eighth spots while sending the Bombers to the brink with 1-6.
San Sebastian will take on the suddenly skidding De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde (4-3) on April 22 at 3 p.m. Meanwhile, JRU will test its mettle against Colegio de San Juan de Letran (5-0) on April 23 at 3 p.m.
Quarterscores: 25-19, 36-32, 50-51,70-64.