JOSE Rizal University completed the upset over fancied Big Chill with an 80-71 victory on Thursday, clinching a semifinal berth in the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
The fifth-seed Heavy Bombers overcame the Superchargers’ twice-to-beat advantage to make it to the Final Four where they will face three-time defending champion NLEX in a best-of-three showdown.
JRU has won six of its last seven outings to advance into the semifinals, a feat that head coach Vergel Meneses didn’t expect entering the conference.
“Ang pag-asa ko lang talaga, maglaro ang mga bata, kung ano ineexpect ko sa kanila, at lumabas ’yung potential nila, we have a good chance na manalo,” said Meneses.
The Heavy Bombers beat the fourth-ranked Superchargers, 63-61, on Tuesday to arrange a do-or-die match for a semifinal seat.
“We were outhustled. They wanted it more,” said Big Chill coach Robert Sison.
Dexter Maiquez had 18 points and 14 rebounds but Byron Villarias, who finished with 12 points, keyed JRU’s pullaway with back-to-back triples near the end of the third for a 53-50 edge entering the fourth.
After Villarias gave JRU a 43-42 lead on a lay-up, the man who notched an all-time league scoring record of 36 points this conference connected on two straight triples for a 49-42 advantage and JRU never looked back.
A 15-3 JRU run to start the fourth doomed Big Chill as the Heavy Bombers took a commanding 68-54 lead.
Alex Nuyles had 21 points for Big Chill, which was obviously hurting from the conference-ending injury of Far Eastern University star Terrence Romeo.
JRU (80) – Maiquez 18, Villarias 12, Paniamogan 10, Mabulac 9, Del Rio 9, Apinan 8, Pinto 7, Mirza 7, Lopez 0, Almario 0, Ighalo 0, Miranda 0.
Big Chill (71) – Nuyles 21, Bringas 14, Brondial 13, Buenafe 10, Montilla 6, Collado 3, Semira 2, Villahermosa 2, Holstein 0, Montecastro 0, Canlas 0, Lozada 0.
Quarterscores: 17-19; 31-31; 53-50; 80-71.