Pontejos, JRU halt 8-game slide
Jose Rizal University saved some semblance of pride after ending its eight-game losing skid with a 98-87 victory over AMA Online Education in the 2018 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup Monday at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
Paolo Pontejos made the big shots late for the Heavy Bombers as he dropped seven of his 17 points in the fourth quarter to fend off the Titans’ late rally that cut what was once a 20-point advantage down to just seven, 81-74 with 7:19 remaining.
Kris Porter scattered 21 markers and six rebounds, while Ervin Grospe and Jeckster Apinan both tallied 17 points and five boards apiece.
JRU coach Gio Lasquety commended his players for stepping up to the plate despite the team’s struggles this conference.
“It was evident that the team’s maturity wasn’t there during that eight-game losing skid. Bright side there is we’re learning and we’re gaining valuable lessons in this campaign,” he said.
The Heavy Bombers didn’t shy away from seizing this opportunity in a battle between two also-ran squads, setting the tone and taking a 16-5 advantage to open the game before extending the lead to as high as 20, 59-39.
JRU improved to 2-8, while sending AMA to its fifth straight defeat and fall to a 1-8 card.
Robbie Manalang showed the way for the Titans with 26 points and three assists, while Carlo Escalambre had 21 markers and eight boards.
JRU 98 — Porter 21, Apinan 17, Grospe 17, Pontejos 17, Yu 8, Mendoza 7, De Guzman 6, Dela Virgen 2, Silvarez 2, Esguerra 1, Bordon 0, Sawat 0.
AMA ONLINE EDUCATION 87 — Manalang 26, C. Escalambre 21, Martinez 16, Andaya 7, Garcia 6, Paras 6, Lao 5, Antonares 0, Quijano 0, Taganas 0.
Quarters: 28-13, 53-35, 77-66, 98-87.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.