Filoil: JRU rises to top spot, deals Perpetual Help first loss
Jose Rizal University (JRU) found its groove in the third quarter to topple Perpetual Help, 67-58, in the 2015 Filoil Flying V Hanes Premier Cup at the Arena in San Juan on Saturday.
The Heavy Bombers outscored the Altas, 26-14, in the pivotal third period before maintaining a safe distance in the closing quarter en route to their sixth win in seven games — good for first place in Group A.
“Bottomline is that we made stops,” JRU head coach Vergel Meneses said. “As I told [my players], it’s our defense that’s why we’re winning, not our offense.”
That defense Meneses has been preaching to his players every practice is showing up during games. JRU’s latest defensive effort forced 19 Perpetual Help turnovers which the Bombers converted to 18 points.
Meneses, a member of the PBA’s greatest players, also said the win over a fellow NCAA team is important heading into the upcoming season.
“It adds confidence to the players because they know they (Perpetual Help) is a stronger team than us. They’re a one of the top teams in the coming NCAA season.”
Returning guard Paolo Pontejos led JRU in scoring with 14 points, including a shot-clock beating triple that extended his team’s lead back to 10, 65-55, with 2:42 left.
Cameroonian import Abdel Poutouochi nearly posted a double-double with 12 points and nine rebounds for the Bombers.
Nigerian center Bright Akhuetie recorded game-highs of 25 points and 12 rebounds but was the lone Perpetual Help player to score in double digits.
Gilas Pilipinas cadet Scottie Thompson didn’t have his usual offensive game but contributed in other ways with nine rebounds and eight assists in his last game for the Altas before joining the Philippine team-bound for Singapore to compete in the Southeast Asian Games.
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Perpetual Help suffered its first setback in six starts. IDL