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NCAA 97: JRU outworks Benilde, earns first win in upset


Jose Rizal University stunned De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde, 74-68, and took its first win of the NCAA Season 97 seniors basketball tournament, Tuesday at La Salle Green Hills’ St. Benilde Gym in Mandaluyong City.

The Heavy Bombers improved to 1-5 after snapping their losing skid.

“Actually sobrang sarap,” head coach Louie Gonzales said of their breakthrough win. “Yung campaign kasi namin is really beyond basketball kaya sabi ko sa kanila, yung integrity ng team natin is intact.”

With the Blazers humming with two Miguel Cortez free throws with 6:06 left in the game, the Heavy Bombers turned on the jets on defense. JRU then limited CSB to a single field goal in the last 4:03 minutes of the contest.

EJ Agbong restored the five-point advantage, 71-66, attacking inside with 1:44 remaining.

CSB cut the deficit to three with two more charities off AJ Benson, 68-71, with 1:31 to go in the game.

That was all the Blazers could manage as Robi Nayve missed on a potential game-tying three with under a minute left.

JL Delos Santos then sealed it for the Heavy Bombers when he found a cutting Marwin Dionisio to put away the game for good, 73-68, with only 38.0 seconds left.

Delos Santos steered JRU with 19 points, 11 rebounds, and three assists.

His scoring partner Jason Celis finished with 17 markers, four boards, and a steal, while Dionisio flirted with a double-double with 11 boards and nine points to go with one assist.

Will Gozum ended with 17 points, 10 rebounds, five blocks, one assist, and one steal for CSB, but the former NCAA juniors’ MVP needed to sit out the final quarter due to blisters on his right ankle.

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Benson took the cudgels with 13 points, four boards, and two assists, while Robi Nayve chipped in 12 markers, four rebounds, and three assists.

On the other hand, the Blazers slipped to 4-2 — two games behind leaders San Beda University and Colegio de San Juan de Letran.

JRU will look to get another win when they take on San Sebastian College-Recoletos (2-3) on April 19 at 3 p.m. Meanwhile, CSB (4-2) will go for a bounce-back against the struggling Mapua University (3-2) earlier that day at 12 NN.

The Scores:

JRU 74 – Delos Santos 19, Celis 17, Dionisio 9, Agbong 7, Bongay 7, Jungco 6, Arenal 5, Macatangay 4, Estrella 0, G. Gonzales 0.

CSB 68 – Gozum 17, Benson 13, Nayve 12, Corteza 10, Carlos 10, Marcos 3, Lepalam 2, Flores 1, Cullar 0, Sangco 0, Lim 0, Publico 0, Davis 0.

Quarterscores: 17-14, 33-30, 49-50, 74-68.

Grew to appreciate various sports from tennis to judo. True-maroon kiddo since the new millennium. Fanboy. Singer. Occasional sports writer.


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