It was an ugly win for the Arellano University Braves.
They were struggling to catch up with the Jose Rizal University Light Bombers.
But, in the end, a prayer, a miracle, and a free throw shot from reserve player Rey Domingo made it all happen.
Last July 18, the Braves pulled off a nearly impossible 80-79 victory over the Light Bombers at the FilOil Flying V Arena in San Juan.
This gave them their second win in three games in season 93 of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) men’s basketball tournament.
On that same day, the Letran Squires drew 21 points from Kiefer Cordero and beat the Emilio Aguinaldo College Brigadiers, 85-81.
(Aaron Fermin (11) with Malayan Red Robins’ Carl Lacap).
Joel Cagulangan struck with 21 points for La Salle Greenhills and upset the San Beda Red Cubs, 82-78.
This put the LSGH Greenies in the lead with win no. 3, and ahead of the Mapua Red Robins (2-0).
- Arellano Braves 80, JRU Light Bombers 79
The Light Bombers were leading 54-61, when the Braves got their acts together and rallied.
The Braves’ big charge came after JRU posted their biggest lead, 73-61, behind John Amores in the last 6:57.
A 13-0 blast led Nino Tamayo and big man Aaron Fermin cut down JRU’s lead.
A three-point play from Marlon Espiritu would tie match, 73-all, with 43 seconds left.
There would be three turnovers in the next instance, with Nino Tamayo scoring two, with the last on a three-point play, 78-73.
Their lead would go down to two following a putback and charity from JRU’s Javine Serrano, 76-78.
Fermin then kept Arellano ahead with his freebie in the last 2:58, 79-76.
But, a stuborn JRU side kept their ball on their side until Serrano sinks a three-point play in last 44 seconds, to keep the game tied, 79-all
As Arellano regained possession, Domingo cans one of two gift shots in the last 26 seconds off Carlos Sumabat’s foul.
“Kinabahan ako kasi first game ko ngayon. May sakit ako nung first two games, trangkaso,” said the 17-year old Domingo.
But, it was a scary moment for Arellano afterwards when Fermin got the rebound.
That’s because Fermin turned it over on a fumble in the last 24 seconds.
Serrano then took possession for JRU, but they turned the ball over in the last eight seconds after he missed and committed a miscue during an offensive rebound.
Even after Espiritu fumbled on his freebies in the last three seconds, the Braves still won the game after JRU ran out of time, and could not get a clear shot in the remaining time.
“Siguro, ang nagpanalo sa amin ay faith. Siguro depensa, na rin,” said Braves coach Tylon Darjuan.