MICHAEL Mabulac and Jaypee Asuncion scored the game-clinching baskets as Jose Rizal University stunned reigning UAAP champion De La Salle, 69-66, on Saturday, to preserve its hot start in the Filoil Flying V Hanes Premier Cup at The Arena in San Juan.
Asuncion and Mabulac only had eight and six points respectively, but came through with the game’s biggest shots in helping the Heavy Bombers complete what is so far the biggest upset in the tournament.
Mabulac connected on a reverse lay-up for the go-ahead basket with 1:28 to go in the fourth before Asuncion, a transferee from University of Perpetual Help, hit a jumper with 41.3 seconds to give JRU enough cushion in pulling off the win.
Jason Perkins missed a running shot at the buzzer as the Heavy Bombers escaped with their third win in four outings in Group A.
The Bombers won after posting a 44-26 halftime lead before overcoming a rally by the Green Archers.
“We should be happy about that,” said JRU coach Vergel Meneses. “Sabi ko sa kanila, everything to gain for us. This is the number one team in the UAAP, a champion team. Everything to gain for us.”
“We win or lose, ang importante, matuto kami sa ganito kalakas na team,” added the former PBA MVP.
Philip Paniamogan paced the Bombers with 16 points including three triples in the first half. Bernabe Teodoro had 12 points, highlighted by a five-point swing to end the third for a 57-48 JRU lead.
But the proud Green Archers stormed back behind a 15-2 run in the fourth period which Almond Vosotros capped with a jumper to cut the deficit to within 63-59.
Vosotros, however, couldn’t respond to Mabulac’s go-ahead basket, missing a jumper for La Salle that led to a basket by Asuncion.
The Green Archers, who played without head coach Juno Sauler, dropped to an even 1-1 record after being outscored by the Bombers, 23-10, at halftime.
In the absence of Sauler, cage great Allan Caidic called the shots for the Archers.
Jeron Teng had 17 points while Arnold Van Opstal and Vosotros each chipped in 13 markers for La Salle.
JRU (69) – Paniamogan 16, Teodoro 12, Lasquety 10, Asuncion 8, Dela Paz 8, Mabulac 6, Balagtas 5, Sanchez 2, Abdulwahab 1, Benavides 1, Salaveria 0.
DLSU (66) – Teng 17, Van Opstal 13, Vosotors 13, Perkins 8, N. Torres 6, T. Torres 4, Andrada 4, Sargent 3, Mustre 0, salem 0, Tampus 0, Rivero 0.
Quarterscores: 21-16; 44-26; 57-48; 69-68.