Surging JRU downs Erase Xfoliant for 4th straight winBy Mark Giongco
MANILA, Philippines—Air21-JRU kept its bid for a twice-to-beat edge in the quarterfinals going following a 74-61 win over reeling Erase Xfoliant Tuesday in the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup at the Jose Rizal University Gym in Mandaluyong City.
The Heavy Bombers pushed their winning streak to four games to tie Big Chill in fourth place with a 5-4 record.
A win by JRU over Cebuana Lhuillier will assure the Bombers a spot in the playoffs and a twice-to-beat edge in the quarters.
Dexter Maiquez scored 14 pointss and grabbed seven rebounds, Philip Paniamogan added 13 points while Jeckster Apinan flirted with a double-double with 10 points and eight boards on top of three steals.
Air21-JRU, composed mostly of players from its NCAA team, got a boost from its crowd and the Bombers didn’t disappoint.
“Malaking tulong yung crowd, sila sixth man namin. Malaking bagay yun para sa mga players ko,” said JRU head coach Vergel Meneses.
The Erasers, who are out of playoff contention at 2-7, suffered their seventh straight setback despite drawing a big game from Kevin Racal, who collected 20 points, nine rebounds, five assists and a block.
Caloy Garcia, the newly appointed Letran Knights head coach, called the shots for Erase Xfoliant.
The Bombers took care of the leather with just seven errors while their pesky defense forced 20 turnovers from the Erasers.