After a couple of heartbreaks to start the NCAA Season 98 Juniors Basketball Tournament, La Salle Green Hills finally caught that elusive win, romping Lyceum-Cavite, 95-84, Sunday at the Emilio Aguinaldo College Gymnasium.
After tough losses against Mapua (70-74) and Perpetual (77-82, overtime), the Greenies finally found their stride in the fourth quarter, powered by Christian Mesias who recorded a double-double of 20 points and 12 rebounds with four assists, and a steal.
”Sabi ko nga sa kanila it’s only our first win pero hindi naman yan yung goal namin. Our goal is to be number one (at the) end of the elims so were treating each game talaga very important,” said Greenies head coach Renren Ritualo. “Playoff atmosphere dapat kami.”
The game was close until the third quarter, but with three minutes remaining, the Greenies sparked a 7-0 run to give themselves an 89-79 lead.
James Ison led the scoring with 22 points, while Seven Gagate recorded a double-double of 19 points and 15 rebounds.
Luis Pablo added 20 points, seven rebounds, and four assists.
Nat Fuentes, on the other hand, paced Lyceum with 24 points, seven rebounds, and four assists. Matthew Rubico scored 18 points while Cirian Mulligan produced 11 points as well.
In the other game, Jose Rizal University weathered a furious Arellano University rally, taking a 56-55 win to notch their second win.
Down by four points with only nine ticks left, Xyrill Jalalon of the Braves shot a three-pointer to close the gap to just a solitary point, but JRU held on for the win.
The Light Bombers were down by four points with two2 minutes left, but Jhunehl Discutido’s back-to-back baskets helped trim the deficit.
“We thought don sa last game, actually maganda naman yung laro ng (mga) bata, pero yun nga lang, nung first half. ‘Yun yung niremind ko sa kanila this game na we cannot win sa first half lang,” said Light Bombers head coach Victoriano Lazaro II.
“Kailangan naming trabahuhin hanggang huli. Pero meron pa din dun sa third and fourth medyo humabol ulit. Nakalamang pa actually yung kalaban. Good thing, yung mga bata nagrespond agad dun sa sinasabi namin. Mas tumapang na sila, sana tumapang pa ulit,” he added.
Joshua Guarino led the scoring with 14 points, while Paul Enal and Discutido recorded 11 points each.
Jalalon led Arellano with a game-high 18 points, while SJ Moore recorded a double-double of 11 points and 11 rebounds.
JRU remains in 4th place with a 2-1 record, while Arellano is still winless with a 0-3 record and an average losing margin of two points for the past three games.
JRU (56) — Guarino 14, Enal 13, Discutido 11, Mina 7, De Leon 5, Anglo 3, Rimas 3, Capistrano 2, Ilio 0, Lozano 0, Pineda 0.
Arellano (55) — Jalalon 18, Moore 11, Reguera 10, Pondoc 5, Mendoza 4, Nambi 4, Panapanaan 1, Mallari 1, Espinosa 1, Distrito 0, Javier 0, Ortega 0.
Quarterscores: 13-11, 26-23, 42-33, 56-55.
LSGH (95) — Ison 22, Mesias 20, Pablo 20, Gagate 19, Alian 5, Romero 5, Rivero 3, Gomez 1, Hacuela 0, Zaragosa 0.
LPU (84) — Fuentes 24, Rubico 18, Mulligan 11, Mointilla 8, Lobos 6, Matienzo 5, Villa 5, Espinas 3, Torres 2, Poli 2, Pariñas 0, Mondia 0.
Quarterscores: 21-24, 46-42, 64-65, 95-84.