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NCAA 97: Ralph Robin drops 27, leads EAC past Baste to even slate

Ralph Robin caught fire in the final frame, powering Emilio Aguinaldo College to a 63-60 come-from-behind win over San Sebastian College-Recoletos in the NCAA Season 97 seniors basketball tournament, Wednesday at La Salle Greenhills’ St. Benilde Gym in Mandaluyong City.

The shooting guard out of Marist High School scored 15 of his 27 points in the game. That included the game-tying and game-winning triples that pocketed the win for the Generals.

EAC slowly crept into a once 12-point deficit,with JP Magullano taking charge inside the paint. They cut it down to a solitary point, 57-58, with 2:43 remaining in the game.

Michael Are then extended the Stags’ lead back to three, 60-57. Unfortunately, though, that turned out to be the last stand for San Sebastian as Robin took charge.

Robin drilled the equalizer with a heave from the right corner with 1:56 left in the game. The 5-foot-10 guard then grabbed the lead for good with a top-of-the-key make 71 seconds remaining.

Are cut the deficit to three, 60-63, with 17.2 seconds on the clock. The Generals then sealed the game with a defensive stop.

Robin finished with seven triples in the game on a 70.0-percent shooting clip to go along with two rebounds, three assists, and one steal.

The Generals went up to the .500 mark with a 3-3 win-loss record. They set themselves just half a game behind current fourth-ranked Mapua University.

“Well, sinabi namin sa players that we have to play tougher defense, especially sa rebounds,” Generals’ head coach Oliver Bunyi shared on what changed in that final seven minutes of the game. “If you cannot grab it, mabuti pang i-tap niyo palabas, baka makuha pa natin.

“I credit that to the players – yung composure nila. We never celebrated hangga’t hindi natatapos. Ayun, nag-respond naman sila. Basically, nagma-mature na yung mga players namin,” he added.

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Nat Cosejo also stepped up for the Generals with 10 points, 14 boards, and two blocks, as Allen Liwag and JC Luciano were hounded with foul trouble. Meanwhile, Magullano chipped in 14 points, seven rebounds, and one assist.

On the other hand, the Golden Stags slipped to 2-4.

Ken Villapando paced the Golden Stags once more, ending with 16 points, five rebounds, and an assist. Altamirano finished with nine points, five rebounds, and two steals, before going down with a grade 3 left ankle sprain.

EAC will look to continue the momentum going when they take on defending champions Colegio de San Juan de Letran (4-0) on April 20 at 3:00 PM. Meanwhile, SSC-R will go up against Jose Rizal University (1-5) on April 19 at 3:00 PM.

The Scores:

EAC 63 – Robin 27, Magullano 14, Cosejo 10, Liwag 8, Cadua 2, An. Doria 2, Taywan 0, Luciano 0, Ad. Doria 0, Bunyi 0.

San Sebastian 60 – Villapando 16, Altamirano 9, Calma 7, Felebrico 6, Cosari 5, Are 4, Calahat 4, Desoyo 2, Abarquez 2, Loristo 0, Una 0, Shanoda 0.

Quarterscores: 11-22, 29-30, 41-49, 63-60.

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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