Jose Rizal University survived the comeback scare from San Beda University, 83-80, in the NCAA Season 98 Seniors Basketball Tournament on Tuesday at the FilOil EcoOil Centre in San Juan City.
Trailing by as much as 20 in the first half, the Red Lions were able to come back from the game and cut it to as close as two, 80-82 after a James Kwekuteye split free throw.
San Beda had the chance to tie it at the 27 and five-second mark but both JB Bahio and Kwekuteye missed each of their shots.
Joshua Giyab split his free throws with 4-ticks left and then William Sy grabbed the offensive board to close the doors for the Red Lions.
“We know for a fact na may winning culture ‘yung team na ‘yun eh. A 20-point lead in the middle of the game, ‘pag ganyang team ang kalaban mo, hindi ‘yan magmamatter until matapos so ang challenge ko talaga sa mga players ko is, are we doing what we are supposed to do when we’re playing,” said JRU head coach Louie Gonzalez.
“Ito ba ‘yung JRU basketball na alam natin and it’s proven that every tie we play together, ‘yung mga lahat ng bagay nagiging positive sa amin. Pero once na magisip na magsasarili na kami, ayun ‘yung nakakahabol na talaga ‘yung kalaban namin,” he continued.
Agen Miranda’s sweet shooting in the first half helped the Heavy Bombers get away early, even leading by as much as 20, 46-26 after a CJ Gonzales bucket near the end mark of the second canto.
Cometa came alive in the fourth that helped the Red Lions to be back in the game, scoring 11 of his 15 points in the said quarter.
Miranda scored 21 points (17 in the first half) on 5-of-10 shooting with three rebounds and three assists. John Amores added 19 markers, two boards, and two dimes. Marwin Dionisio and Guiyab had 16 and 14 respectively with the former adding four rebounds and an assist, while the latter added nine boards and two dimes.
For San Beda, JB Bahio finished with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Kwekuteye had 14 markers and four boards, while Tony Ynot had 12 points and four boards.
Both teams currently have an identical 4-2 win-loss record.
Next up for JRU is Lyceum of the Philippines University (4-1) on Friday at 3 PM. San Beda on the other hand will play against Arellano University (4-3) on the same day at 12 NN.
JRU 83 — Miranda 21, Amores 19, Dionisio 16, Guiab 14, Dela Rosa 6, Sy 4, Gonzales 2, Celis 1, Delos Santos 0, Arenal 0, Villarin 0.
San Beda 80 — Bahio 19, Cometa 15, Kwekuteye 14, Ynot 12, Andrada 6, Alfaro 4, Cortez 4, Sanchez 3, Visser 2, Tagala 1, Cuntapay 0, Jopia 0.
Quarterscores: 24-16, 49-33, 66-58, 83-80.