Can JRU halt Stags party? | Inquirer Sports

Can JRU halt Stags party?

/ 05:40 AM October 27, 2017

San Sebastian tries to ride the momentum of its emotional win three days ago as it clashes with a well-rested Jose Rizal U on Friday in the stepladder semifinals of NCAA Season 93 at Mall of Asia Arena.

The Stags, three days removed from a 74-69 win over Letran in a playoff, and the Heavy Bombers are disputing the right to face second seed San Beda in the 3:30 p.m. clash.

JRU, which finished with an 11-7 record, hopes to come out sharp even after a close to two-week layoff as the stepladder format was applied following Lyceum’s sweep of the elimination round.

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“We’ve prepared well for the playoffs, but San Sebastian plays hard as shown against Letran,” said JRU coach Vergel Meneses. “We have to play even better than we did in the second round and in those two games that we won against them.”

The Stags came up with a gutsy stand against the Knights last Tuesday to earn a duel with the Heavy Bombers, who have not played since a 63-100 loss to the Lyceum Pirates last Oct. 13.

“We’ve had time to think and recover from the loss (to Lyceum),” said Meneses. “Hopefully, the players respond because this is a do-or-die game and our season is on the line.”

Michael Calisaan delivered the performance of his career with 36 points, while Ryan Costelo also came up big down the stretch with nine of his 13 points coming in the last five minutes to power the Stags.

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“We’re in, then we’ll just show them the character and the brand of play of San Sebastian,” said Stags coach Egay Macaraya. “These are the types of games we want to play. We didn’t celebrate my birthday (last Tuesday) because we’d rather celebrate by winning on Friday.”

The odds will be stacked on the Stags after they lost both games against the Bombers in the eliminations. Without the injured Calisaan, San Sebastian bowed to JRU, 62-73, last July.

The Stags kept the game close throughout in their September clash with the Bombers, but the duo of Jed Mendoza and Ervin Grospe did the damage for JRU down the stretch, scoring 14 points each.

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TAGS: Jose Rizal U, NCAA Season 93, San Sebastian, Semifinals

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