JOSE Rizal University survived a late onslaught by College of St. Benilde to pull off a 73-71 overtime win last night in the NCAA basketball tournament at Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan.
Cris Jordan Dela Paz scored five of his team’s last six points capped by a free throw in the dying seconds of the extension as the Heavy Bombers picked up their second victory in four games.
The Blazers, who battled back from 14 points down in regulation to force the extension period at 61-all, still had a chance to win but Mark Romero threw an errant outlet pass in the final play.
It was another heart-breaker for coach Gabby Velasco and the Blazers, who lost their two previous games by a point to both the Emilio Aguinaldo College Generals and the San Beda Red Lions.
Michael Mabulac missed a short jumper with the clock winding down but luckily tapped the leather to Dela Paz, who was fouled in a rebound scuffle.
With the game tied at 71, Dela Paz made his second free throw, giving the Bombers a one-point edge, 5.9 seconds left.
“It was a lucky break for us although we could have won it earlier,’’ said JRU coach Vergel Meneses.
Anthony Benavides gave the Bombers a 61-47 lead earlier but they went scoreless in the final seven minutes.
Juan Paolo Taha, Roberto Bartolo and Saavedra combined for the Blazers, who finally knotted the count on Bartolo’s three-point play, 61-all, with 39 seconds left in regulation time.
Arellano outlasted Mapua, 65-59, in the second game to tie Lyceum and idle San Sebastian in fourth spot at 2-2. Mapua fell to 1-3.
In juniors play, Alexis Barrera scored 20 points as La Salle Green Hills subdued Jose Rizal University, 74-63, for its second win in three games. The JRU Light Bombers absorbed their first defeat in four outings.
In the other juniors game, Mapua leaned on Justin Oliver Serrano and Ronnel Villaseñnor to pummel Arellano, 73-54, and move up the standings with a 2-2 record. The AU Braves fell to 1-3.
The seniors scores:
JRU 73—Pontejos 17, Paniamogan 17, Juanico 8, Mabulac 8, Dela Paz 7, Lasquety 6, Abanto 4, Benavidez 4, Salaveria 2, Balagtas 0, Grospe 0.
ST. BENILDE 71—Romero 17, Saavedra 15, Sinco 11, Bartolo 10, Taha 7, Grey 4, Argamino 2, Garcia 2, Deles 2, Ongteco 1, Jonson 0, Carlos 0.
Quarters: 17-17, 35-33, 55-47, 61-61(reg), 73-71 (OT)