Letran gores JRU in OT, 84-77
MANILA, Philippines – Rampaging in extra session, the Colegio de San Juan de Letran Knights gorged the Jose Rizal University Heavy Bombers, 84-77, at the Arena in San Juan Friday during their skirmish at the senior’s basketball tournament of NCAA 90.
Evenly matching up against each other in the first 48 minutes, both teams slugged it out through 10 deadlocks and 11 lead changes.
Letran went on an 8-0 joust in the first couple of minutes to go up 78-70 with court general Mark Cruz, who scored 10 the Knights’ 12 OT points, hitting back-to-back three-pointers.
JRU responded with five unanswered points to cut the lead to three, 78-75, but Cruz continued driving to the basket and fishing four charity shots.
Knights head coach Caloy Garcia said they just started to improve through the course of the match after scoring just nine points in the first quarter.
“We really started slow, but we just fixed our mistakes as the game progressed,” Garcia said.
Jamil Gabawan was all alone under the basket as he caught the inbounds pass from Kevin Racal with 29.2 seconds remaining in regulation sending the game to OT, 70-all.
Michael Mabulac hit in a banking layup off a pick-and-roll play with Philip Paniamogan to give JRU a 70-68 lead that only lasted for a second.
Garcia said that their final play in regulation came all down to luck when Gabawan was left stranded underneath.
“We were lucky, if Jamil (Gabawan) did not hit that shot we wouldn’t be able to go to overtime,” Garcia said. “I think they expected the ball to go to Mark (Cruz) which left Jamil all alone.”
Letran had a field day picking the pockets of JRU with a total of 13 steals that contributed to the 29 turnovers of the Heavy Bombers.
Cruz led the charge for Letran scoring a career-high 26 points while his backcourt partner Rey Nambatac added 21 to lead the Knights to a 4-6 record.
Philip Paniamogan also had 26 for JRU with Abdul AbdulWahab and Mabulac combining for 23 points for the Heavy Bombers which dropped to a 6-4 slate.
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