Jose Rizal University survived a spirited rally from University of the East, 64-57, to earn a shot at top favorite Ateneo in the finals of the 18th Fr. Martin Summer Cup basketball tournament.
The Heavy Bombers banked on the charities of John Villarias and Alex Almario in a close endgame to hold off the Warriors at the Trinity University of Asia gymnasium.
The Blue Eagles let Nico Salva take charge in the early goings as they swamped an undermanned Adamson 71-44, to earn their place in the finals opposite JRU on Sunday at the San Beda gym.
Earlier in the women’s semis, Snow Penaranda and Princess Joy Cochico provided the big points for the Adamson Lady Falcons, who beat Far Eastern University, 64-63, and earn a final seat opposite the La Salle Lady Archers.
Ina Sarah Corcuera and Nicole Anne Garcia hit crucial baskets for the Lady Archers, who beat the Lyceum Lady Pirates, 66-63.
Antonio Asistio hacked out 17 points and Thirdy Ravena drilled in 14 for the Ateneo Blue Eaglets, who fought off FEU, 64-59, and set a junior division titular playoff with the San Beda Red Cubs.
Evan Jacob Furaque made 14 points for the Red Cubs, who outplayed the National University Bullpups, 69-54.
Villarias and Almario took over in the last 34 seconds to thwart a spirited Warriors comeback from a 20-point halftime deficit.
The Warriors, with 6-7 Cameroonian Charles Mammie (22 points) leading the charge, got as close as three points, 57-60 before the JRU duo sealed the win from the free-throw stripe.
The Falcons were without top scorer Jericho Cruz and had no answer when the Blue Eagles unleashed an opening 20-9 assault led by Salva's eight points.
Cruz was suspended for a game after scuffling with Far Eastern University's Roger Pogoy in the final minute of their semifinal match.
The Blue Eagles, with Oping Sumalinog and Greg Slaughter dishing out 12 and 11 points, never looked back as they pulled away, 51-28, behind Kiefer Ravena’s trey.
Ronnie Carampil led JRU with 12 points while Almario had 10.