AGEM Miranda delivered the final five points for Jose Rizal University as it finally broke through in the NCAA Season 95 seniors basketball tournament with a pulsating 80-77 thriller over Arellano Friday at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
The sophomore guard fought back from cramps in the final five minutes and returned to play the role of a hero - first scoring the game-tying putback before drilling the game-winning right corner off of a John delos Santos assist with 1.7 ticks to spare.
Miranda finished with 26 points on a 3-of-5 clip from downtown, to go with five rebounds and three assists as the Heavy Bombers claimed their first win after starting the season 0-3.
Fil-German bruiser Stefan Steinl was also a huge shot in the arm for JRU with 14 points and eight rebounds.
John Amores chipped in 11 points, two boards and two steals, Marwin Dionisio added 10 points, seven rebounds and two assists, and delos Santos made sure to join in the rookies' breakout with seven points, 12 boards and four dimes.
The win also gave JRU coach Louie Gonzalez his first win at the helm.
"Actually napaka-importante sa akin ng panalo na ito," said the mentor, who is coming off of a tough one-season run at La Salle.
"Coming to the game, I prayed really hard na ibigay ang panalo sa amin dahil may ginagawa ako sa team. Yung pag-earn ng trust sa sistema ar pagpilit sa kanila sa paggawa ng tamang bagay on and off the court, nandoon pa rin kami sa stage na we really struggled in the first three games. Pero it's a process na dapat naming daanan."
Arellano almost secured the win after Dariel Bayla drained the undergoal stab from a Kent Salado assist with 49.3 ticks remaining to hold a 76-75 lead.
Archie Concepcion's split from the line extended it to a two-point advantage with 36.0 seconds left, but Bayla could not seal the win, opening the window for JRU to snare the elusive win.
Rence Alcoriza topped the Chiefs with 21 points and four rebounds as they dropped to 0-3 in the standings.
Salado had himself 16 points, six assists, five rebounds, two steals, and two blocks, but committed seven turnovers.
JRU 80 - Miranda 26, Steinl 14, Amores 11, Dionisio 10, Delos Santos 7, Dela Rosa 3, Jungco 3, Aguilar 3, Vasquez 3, Arenal 0, Abaoag 0.
Arellano 77 - Alcoriza 21, Salado 16, Bayla 15, Arana 12, Sablan 8, Concepcion 5, Santos 0, Gayosa 0, Oliva 0, Talampas 0, Espiritu 0, De Guzman 0, Segura 0, Sacramento 0.
Quarterscores: 8-22; 34-37; 56-61; 80-77.