After struggling for the last three games, San Sebastian did just enough late to avert a Jose Rizal University upset, picking up a 62-59 win, Thursday at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
The win was a much-needed reprieve for the Golden Stags, who suffered consecutive losses to Letran, San Beda, and Emilio Aguinaldo College. They rise to 8-6 in the NCAA Season 95 Seniors Basketball Tournament — a full game ahead of the Mapua Cardinals.
“Ang nangyayari, hirap na hirap manalo,” admitted San Sebastian head coach Egay Macaraya.
This game was another testament to how tough it was for the Golden Stags to rack up wins.
Up by nine, 61-52, with 1:42 left, San Sebastian could not get late stops to stave off JRU. Ryan Arenal, JL Delos Santos, and Marwin Dionisio took advantage, cutting the lead down to two, 61-59, with 12 ticks left.
“The missing factor was the defense, kasi medyo malamya mga bata kasi may sakit at kulang kami,” said Macaraya.
Both Allyn Bulanadi and Ken Villapando were sick, while guard Alex Desoyo was still recovering from an injury.
RK Ilagan — normally a knockdown free throw shooter — missed both his freebies on the other end, but he was there to grab his own miss. Rommel Calahat split his charities with two seconds left while Chester Jungco’s desperation three from beyond halfcourt missed, sealing the deal for the Golden Stags.
“RK is doing a hell of a job making things work. Hirap na hirap na siya pero he is still embracing the responsibility. Hindi pumasok last two foul shots niya dahil pagod na siya,” said Macaraya.
Alvin Capobres led San Sebastian with 21 points, eight rebounds, and two assists, while JM Calma tallied a double-double with 12 points and 13 boards.
Ilagan, who shot just 4-of-17 from the field, added 11 markers. Rommel Calahat added eight points and 11 boards.
Bulanadi struggled in the game, finishing with just six points on 2-of-14 shooting.
JRU, who fell to 4-10, were led by Thomas Vasquez’ 13 points. Arenal and Dionisio had 12 and 10 markers respectively, while Delos Santos scattered 10 rebounds, eight points, and four assists.
With San Sebastian’s win, the Arellano Chiefs and the EAC Generals have been eliminated from playoff contention.
SSC-R (62) – Capobres 21, Calma 12, Ilagan 11, Calahat 8, Bulanadi 6, Desoyo 4, Altamirano 0, Cosari 0, Loristo 0, Tero 0, Villapando 0.
JRU (59) – Vasquez 13, Arenal 12, Dionisio 10, Delos Santos 8, Miranda 8, Jungco 4, Amores 2, Dela Rosa 2, Macatangay 0.
Quarterscores: 11-10, 28-21, 45-43, 62-59
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