JRU stuns Letran in OT in NCAA Season 99 opener
MANILA, Philippines—Host Jose Rizal University pulled off an opening upset of defending champion Letran, 85-79, in overtime in the NCAA Season 99 men’s basketball tournament at Mall of Asia Arena on Sunday.
The Heavy Bombers proved to be the steadier team in OT as the Knights’ bid for a fourth consecutive championship started off on the wrong foot.
“In the fourth quarter, we thought we had already won it in the fourth quarter but it was just like last season. We were up by three and they sank a triple so I was surprised when that happened,” said forward Agem Miranda after scoring 17 points.
“I said here we go again but when we got to overtime, I thought that can’t happen again. The outcome should be different now. We have to win this time.”
In both teams’ first-round meeting last season, Letran also forced extra session on a triple by Kurt Reyson and went on to win the game in OT, 101-97.
It looked like history was about to repeat itself when Letran’s Deo Cuajao sank the game-tying 3-pointer with 3.2 ticks remaining to send the game to OT.
But the Heavy Bombers refused to lose this time with Joshua Guiab and Miranda coming through in the final minute.
Dionisio finished a rebound shy of a double-double with 17 points and nine rebounds. Rookie Shawn Argente also helped JRU with 12 points
Reyson had an all-around game of 18 points, six boards and four assists but had seven turnovers for Letran. Santos finished with 16 points and nine boards while Cuajao and Pao Javillonar tallied 12 points each in a losing effort.