Just like that the Jose Rizal University Heavy Bombers are back in the Final Four race.
Teytey Teodoro and Abdoul Poutouochi combined for 19 fourth quarter points to life the Heavy Bombers past the Lyceum of the Philippines University Pirates, 68-58, Friday afternoon at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan City.
The third year gunslinger scored 21 points on 8-of-19 shooting, knocking down three triples in the process. Foreign student-athlete Abdoul Poutouochi continued his stellar play in the second round with 14 markers and seven rebounds.
Going into the game, JRU head coach Vergel Meneses admitted that he and his team have vengeance on their mind after dropping their encounter in the first round against Lyceum.
“If we lose today, useless yung three wins namin,” Meneses shared. “Let’s get back at LPU kasi pag hindi, next year na yan.”
“It’s an important win na nakuha namin.”
The Pirates relied on Ian Alban in the final frame as the rookie scored 11 of the last 13 Lyceum points. Free throws by Alban with 1:03 left cut JRU’s lead to just four, 62-58.
Poutouochi, challenged by his match-up against Mike Nzeusseu, was able to connect on a fadeaway jumper. A miss by Nzeusseu then led to a dagger triple by Teodoro over the outstretched arms of Shaq Alanes to secure the victory.
“Na-challenge siya sa akin,” Meneses remarked about his ace guard. “Talagang may pinapatunayan siya.”
Ervin Grospe added 15 points for the Heavy Bombers, 13 coming in the first half, while Abdulwahad Abdulrazak scored 11 points and grabbed nine huge boards.
“Di ako nawawalan ng pagasa sa players ko. Alam ko ang kapasidad nila. Yun ang binabago ko sa mga players ko,” the mentor added. “Pagdating ng second round, iba ang attitude ng team.”
It was a two-man show for Topex Robinson’s squad as Alban scored 27 points while Nzeusseu added 10 points and 17 rebounds. The rest of the Pirates scored a grand total of just 21 points.
The Heavy Bombers (T-4th, 7-5) look to extend its streak to five, facing the EAC Generals (9th, 3-9) on Tuesday, August 30 at 2:00pm. Earlier in the day, the Lyceum Pirates (7th, 5-7) takes on the San Sebastian Stags (8th, 4-9).
JRU (68) – Teodoro 21, Grospe 15, Poutouochi 14, Abdul Wahab 11, Mendoza 4, Dela Virgen 3, Dela Paz 0, Pontejos 0, Lasquety 0, Cruz 0
LPU (58) – Alban 27, Nzeusseu 10, Ayaay 5, Alanes 4, Baltazar 4, Marata 4, Gabayni 4, Caduyac 0, Soliman 0, Serafica 0, Magbuhos 0, Malabanan 0
Quarterscores: 17-17, 32-30, 46-41, 68-58