JRU shuts down Mapua 63-60By Mark Giongco
MANILA, Philippines – Jose Rizal University put on a defensive clinic as it shutdown Mapua en route to a 63-60 win Monday in the NCAA Season 88 men’s basketball tournament at the FilOil Flying V Arena in San Juan.
The Heavy Bombers held the Cardinals scoreless in the final 5:51 to end the game on a 9-0 run.
But despite the thrilling victory, head coach Vergel Meneses wasn’t feeling good about it.
“Don’t be too happy about the win. I got mad at them, ang nangyari samin parang nakaw lang,” said an unsatisfied Meneses, whose team committed 26 errors. “First three quarters nagagawa ng Mapua gusto nila.”
The Heavy Bombers also won without having their main man Nate Matute in the final quarter.
Matute injured his hip after hitting an awkward looking drive.
“I know even without Nate, we will win with our defense,” said Meneses.
Forward John Lopez scored 17 points, including a basket inside with 12 ticks left following a superb defensive stand on the other end.
Andrew Estrella went for the go-ahead drive but got stopped in the shaded area by three JRU players.
Kenneth Ighalo made two free throws that made it a 60-54 game in favor of Mapua with 5:51 left but those freebies were the last points the Cardinals would make.
Ralph Monserat scored back-to-back baskets after that, sparking JRU’s run before backup point guard Ivan Camasura uncorked a triple to give the Bombers the lead for good, 61-60, with 2:05 left.
“He (Monserat) gave us the spark and the energy,” said Meneses.
The win put JRU in second-place tie with San Sebastian at 8-3.