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Basketball

Jed Mendoza takes over as JRU holds off Letran for second win


After a grueling overtime loss against Arellano Chiefs last Tuesday, Jed Mendoza made sure that no one will deny his team this time around, leading the Jose Rizal University Heavy Bombers to a 65-62 win over the Colegio de San Juan de Letran Knights, Friday afternoon at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan City.

“Well, galing kami sa kumbaga masakit na talo, either way yan, it’s a good sign for us. Nakita namin kung pano bumalik character ng team,” shared JRU head coach Vergel Meneses.

JRU evened its slate to 2-2 while Letran dropped to 1-2.

Mendoza, a 21-year-old native of Bataan, led JRU with 17 points to go along with seven rebounds and four assists. And he scored 13 points in the second half to help the Heavy Bombers break away from the Knights.

“Actually I keep on challenging him, nakakatikim ng matatalim na salita, alam niya yan,” remarked Meneses about Mendoza. “Alam kong magaling siya, kapag di ako magsasalita ibig sabihin wala akong kumpyansa sa ‘yo.”

After scoring seven points in the third frame, the 6-foot guard let loose in the final frame, scoring on a dazzling spin move to spark JRU and followed it up with a stop-and-pop shot to cap an 8-0 Heavy Bombers rally that gave JRU a 57-48 lead with 5:19 left.

A basket by Richard David and a breakaway lay-up by Mendoza extended JRU’s lead to a game-high 11-point lead, 61-50, with 4:08 remaining in the game.

With JRU holding a 65-54 lead with 2:07 left, the Knights attempted a huge end game rally taking advantage of careless turnovers by JRU.

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“Pagdating ng end game we cannot commit turnovers, passing errors. That’s why they came back,” lamented the PBA legend.

Cutting the lead down to just three points with Teytey Teodoro missing two free throws, Bong Quinto was able to rebound the ball with eight seconds left. His outlet pass to JP Calvo though was too strong as Mendoza was able to recover on defense as time expired.

Teodoro and Gio Lasquety added 14 and 10 points respectively for JRU while Abdulwahab Abdulrazak gobbled down 12 rebounds.

Quinto paced Letran with 16 points but needed 16 attempts to do so while Rey Nambatac was limited to just nine shot attempts, scoring 14 points.

JRU will go on the road on Thursday, July 27 when they face the San Sebastian Golden Stags. Letran, on the other hand, takes on archrivals San Beda Red Lions on Tuesday, July 25 at 4:00pm.

The Scores:

JRU (65) – Mendoza 17, Teodoro 14, Lasquety 10, David 9, Abdul Razak 5, Grospe 4, Poutouochi 4, Bordon 2, Dela Virgen 0, Castor 0.

CSJL (62) – Quinto 16, Nambatac 14, Calvo 11, Balanza 7, Ambohot 6, Balagasay 6, Taladua 2, Pamulaklakin 0, Vacaro 0, Bernabe 0, Gedaria 0.

Quarterscores: 14-12, 28-24, 47-40, 65-62.

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