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Basketball

JRU survives San Sebastian in thriller to book playoff spot


Coming into the game, eighth-year Jose Rizal University head coach Vergel Meneses shared that he did not fear San Sebastian, only scared with what Heavy Bomber team will show up Friday afternoon.

Safe to say, with the Rizalians packing the Filoil Flying V Centre, the Heavy Bombers showed no fear, outlasting the San Sebastian College-Recoletos Golden Stags, 60-58, to book at least a playoff game in the NCAA Season 93 Seniors Basketball tournament.

“Sabi ko nga sa kanila sa pregame huddle, we have to get this one and wag tayo maging complacent heading into our game against Mapua. Nothing to lose for them. Let’s just win against San Sebastian and worry about it on Tuesday,” shared Meneses.

The win lifted JRU to solo third with a 10-6 record while dropping San Sebastian to a half-a-game behind fourth-running Letran with a 7-8 slate.

The Heavy Bombers though were up by as much as six points, 56-50, with 5:43 left in the game before the Golden Stags stormed back.

Energy player JM Calma provided the spark for San Sebastian, converting on an and-one against Teytey Teodoro to cut the lead to just three. A split on the stripe by Jed Mendoza led to a Jayson David triple to cut the lead to just one.

Calma then blocked an Ervin Grospe shot that led to a runner of his to give San Sebastian a 58-57 lead with 1:10 remaining. However, Calma became overeager, being penalized for his fifth foul after fouling Abdoul Poutouochi. The Cameroonian student-athlete converted on both free throws to give JRU back the lead.

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A missed floater by RK Ilagan led to another split on the stripe by Mendoza giving the Golden Stags another shot to at least tie the game. Michael Calisaan though overcooked his reverse layup as time expired.

“Well, composure. Yung composure, they got back the lead and we got a basket. Yung last two possessions, we made a good stop,” recalled Meneses.

Ervin Grospe and Mendoza led the Heavy Bombers with 14 points each.

Teytey Teodoro added 11 points but shot a horrid 3-for-16 from the field. Poutouochi made up for Teodoro’s off game, finishing with 10 points and 14 rebounds.

“Siguro yung mga players ko they want to prove something that they belong in this league. Kumbaga wala akong masasabi. They still fight,” Meneses said about the spirit his team showed in this game.

Calisaan was the sole Golden Stag to score in double-figures with 15 points to go along with 13 rebounds. San Sebastian failed to match the intensity of their captain, going just 29 percent from the field while attempting just a combined nine free throws.

JRU looks to seal its ticket to the Final Four on Tuesday, October 10 when it faces the Mapua Cardinals at 4:00pm. San Sebastian, on the other hand, takes on the Arellano Chiefs on the same day at 2:00pm.

The Scores:

JRU 60 – Grospe 14, Mendoza 14, Teodoro 11, Poutouochi 10, Sawat 6, Dela Virgen 3, Abdul Razak 2, Lasquety 0, David 0

SSC-R 58 – Calisaan 15, Bulanadi 9, Calma 9, Ilagan 8, David 7, Navarro 3, Costelo 2, Baetiong 2, Capobres 2, Mercado 1, Gayosa 0, Are 0

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Quarterscores: 22-17, 33-30, 46-45, 60-58.

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