07 July 2014,
FilOil-Flying V Arena,
When did the Jose Rizal University Light Bombers ever have a good start?
Well, never. Not in recent memory. Not in the last nine seasons did the JRU Light Bombers have a winning run this long. And no existing statistical record will ever show that.
This time around, the Jose Rizal University Light Bombers are proving themselves as a fighting team.
(JRU Light Bomber Darious Estrella(19) tightly guards LSGH cager Ian Herrera(5)- photo taken by me with my Panasonic Lumix FZ-200).
Last Monday, July 7, the Light Bombers showed how well they can defend.
And so it was in their sturdy defense, something that I have not seen in at least 10 years.
Their defensive plays inside and out held out in the last two minutes, and they frustrated the Greenies, who were only able to score their final point at the buzzer.
(LSGH’s Renzo Pagulayan (8) tries to get past a double team by JRU’s (9) Andrei Dada and (19) Darious Estrella.
After holding their rivals almost scoreless down the stretch, the Light Bombers went on to escape with a 63-62 upset of the Greenies.
Their third straight win in season 90 of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Junior Basketball Tournament allowed the Light Bombers to move ahead of Arellano University Braves (2-0) in the lead.
It was a historic and emotional win for the Light Bombers, who last won over the Greenies, 92-89, in overtime in the first round of season 86.
-JRU LIGHT BOMBERS 63, LSGH Greenies 62
Senior cager Mark de la Virgen led the Light Bombers with 17 points and 10 rebounds.
His fellow senior Andrei Dada chipped in 16 points, including a drive off King Astrero’s pass in the last 1:59.
This proved to be the Light Bombers’ last basket for the evening, and they went on enjoy a 63-59 advantage in the remaining time.
(LSGH’s Mark de la Cruz gets a screen from Mark de la Virgen).
The Greenies, led by national youth under-17 player Michael de la Cruz with 22 points, tried to catch up with JRU in the remaining time.
But Darius Estrella kept the ball in their JRU’s possession after snatching the ball away from Rafael Salonga.
Estrella, who lost the ball on a travelling violations, got away with another steal and kept the ball in JRU hands in the final minute.
JRU’s John Sta. Maria (16) chases down LSGH’s (18) Amando San Juan.
They wasted away the remaining time, and gave up the ball as the time almost expired.
This was when Salonga managed to sneak in a triple before time ran out, and trim down JRU’s lead by one at endgame.
(Luis Velasco in action).
– A CLOSE GAME
There were 10 lead changes and five deadlocks.
Amando San Juan banged in 17 points, with his split charity in the last 44.7 seconds in third tying the game for the last time, 44-all.
They then overtook JRU for the last time, 45-44, at the end of the third.
John Gob made this possible for LSGH when he scored on a split with 14.5 seconds left.
– PULLING AWAY IN THE FOURTH PERIOD
The Light Bombers began moving ahead for the fourth time over LSGH in the last 10 minutes.
De La Virgen’s two free throws and Dada’s one of two treys found their mark in the last eight minutes, and JRU went on to nurse six-point lead, 5145.
Dada’s last triple came after Salonga struck with his own three-pointer.
And, JRU went on to keep their six-point edge, 54-48.
Later, the Greenies took charge for one last time off San Juan’s drive, and Gob’s layup, 59-58.
In the next play, de la Virgen’s trey and Dada’s layup in the remaining 1:56 handed JRU the lead for the last time, 63-59.
– COACH NAT’S TAKE ON THE GAME
Coach Nathaniel Gregorio said the Light Bombers could have pulled away even more in the last minute.
But, lapses in execution kept JRU from pulling further away.
“Hindi ganoon kadiin iyung mga baskets namin sa every possession na nakukuha namin. So kahit paano naging ganoon, Iyung effort nila ay nandun. Hndi sila bumigay sa depensa nung bandang huli,” said Gregorio.
Gregorio said he even told the boys not to let LSGH get a decent shot even if they themselves can’t shoot at endgame.
The JRU Light Bombers will take a weeklong break before they clash with the Letran Squires on Monday.
On that day, they will be seeking their fourth straight win,
And if they do, I can definitely say that JRU Light Bombers are really off to a flying start.
For now, it’s too early to celebrate.
-ARELLANO BRAVES 106, EAC-ICA 86
Meanwhile, the Arellano Braves came away with a 106-86 win over the Emilio Aguinaldo College-ICA Brigadiers.
Guilmar de la Torre once again led the Braves, this time with 27 points.
The shackled the Brigadiers to just 18 points in the second period, and they went to post a 52-42 lead at halftime.
JRU 63—de la Virgen 17, Dada 16, Anonuevo 8, Estrella 7, Garcia 5, Estrada 4, Anore 2, Sta. Maria 2, Ross 2.
LSGH 62—de la Cruz 22, San Juan 17, Gob 9, Salonga 8, Pagulayan 4, Manuel 2.
Quarterscores: 19-10, 30-32, 44-45, 63-62.
Arellano Braves 106–de la Torre 27, Juico 15, Manaloto 14, Zamora 12, Clemente 8, Cabahug 8, Bataller 3, de Lara 2, Enriquez 2, Balbarona 2, Peralta 2, Gonzalo 2, Manalac 1.
EAC-ICA 86—Tayomora 18, Castillo 18, Montilla 16, Gentile 9, Cayabo 8, Catusalem 8, Piopongco 6, Cruz 2, Dungca 1.
Quarterscores: 26-24, 52-42, 82-64, 106-86.