MANILA, Philippines — Jose Rizal University banked on big second half performances by Philip Paniamogan and Marco Balagtas to fight off Emilio Aguinaldo College, 85-79, in the NCAA Season 89 men’s basketball tournament Monday at the Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan.
Paniamogan and Balagtas combined for 27 points in the second half, where the Heavy Bombers clamped down on defense.
“We did a great job defending on their [guards] that was the key that’s why we won,” said JRU coach Vergel Meneses.
The hot-shooting Paniamogan scored 23 points, 15 in the final two quarters while Balagtas, a six-foot-two rookie, fired 12 of his 14 points in the second half in 22 minutes off the bench.
“Alam ko naman yung style ng laro niya (Balagtas) sinasabi ko nga sa kanya if you’re open shoot it but I need him more rebounding, medyo yun ang offense niya. Yung offense niya alam ko na, talagang papasok at papasok na yon that’s why I call plays for him,” said Meneses of his recruit out of Malolos, Bulacan.
“Nakikita ko na every time he (Paniamogan) makes his first shot siguradong may problema kalaban. For sure yan. I’ve been with him. Ako kumuha sa kanya kaya alam ko na style of play niya kung ano yung characteristics niya. If he makes his first shot, he’s going to play well.”
Philip Mabulac added 16 points for JRU, which claimed solo fourth place with a 3-2 mark. Mabulac gave his team an 83-69 lead, with 3:39 left before EAC came back on a 10-0 run.
Noube Happi led the Generals, who absorbed their fourth defeat against only a win, with 20 points and 15 rebounds.