04 July 2014,
FilOil-Flying V Arena,
I have never seen this team play this good before.
Playing smart once again, the Jose Rizal University University Light Bombers claimed a second victim in last year’s finalists, the San Sebastian Staglets.
A shift in their defensive play in the third quarter did wonders for the Light Bombers.
(the JRU Light Bombers do a double team on SSC Staglet Lorenzo Navarro).- Photos taken by me, using a Panasonic Lumix FZ200
Going low post with their trapping defense this time around, the Kalentong dribblers went on to shock the Staglets, 75-60.
This gave the Light Bombers their second straight win in the junior division of the 90th National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) junior basketball tournament at the FilOil-Flying V Arena in San Juan.
(SSC Stalget Lorenzo Navarro tries to drive past JRU Light Bombers Joco Estrada and Darius Estrella).
Mark de la Virgen, whom coach Nathaniel Gregorio describes as a small point guard at 5’6 with a big heart, showed the way for the Light Bombers this time around.
He fired 21 points, and 13 rebounds, while Darious Estrella, the hero in their game against the Stagets, shot 14 points and hauled in seven boards.
JRU Light Bomber John Sta. Maria swats an attempt by Navarro.)
De la Virgen took charge in the third period with 13 points, shooting most of it during an 8-0 run which allowed JRU to break away from a 41-all deadlock.
They eventually took a 60-49 advantage at the end of the period.
Defensive plays from JRU’s Christian Anore(no. 8) and Darius Estrella (no. 19) keep 2 Staglets, Jeremy Cruz (7) and John Paclarin (8) at bay during this rebound play.
“We adjusted on our defense. Yung sa trapping namin, na mataas, this time, binabaan namin nang konti. Our purpose was to deny them their offense,” said Gregorio.
Their defense worked so well that JRU finished with a 15-point lead.
This put them ahead in the solo lead, and with four other squads trailing in second.
(Hassle plays on Navarro by Sta. Maria and Estrella).
Holding on to 1-0 cards are the Mapua Red Robins, the La Salle Greenhills Greenies and the Arellano University Braves.
It will be tougher for the Light Bombers in their next two games.
This is because they have last year’s finalists, the Greenies and the Letran Squires as their next opponents.
JRU 75—de la Virgen 21, Estrella 14, Dada 13, Garcia 12, Anonuevo 5, Estrada 4, Torre 2, Anore 1.
San Sebastian 60— Ilagan 14, Navarro 13, Magno 11, Mercado 6, Cruz 6, Paclarin 6, Sera Josef 4.
Quarterscores: 14-12, 27-28, 52-43, 75-60.