JOSE Rizal University caught a big fish in College of St. Benilde as it finally scored a breakthrough win in Season 97 of the NCAA men’s basketball Season tournament on Tuesday.
JRU vs St. Benilde recap
John Delos Santos and Jason Celis combined forces to steer the Heavy Bombers to a 74-68 upset of the Blazers at the La Salle Greenhills gymnasium to end their five-game losing streak.
Delos Santos finished with 19 points, while Celis had 17 for the Mandaluyong-based school, which barged into the win column and kept alive its bid of earning the right for a play-in for a Final Four berth.
The loss, however, was a costly one for the Blazers, who fell to their second loss in six outings and hurt their chances of gaining one of two outright berths in the semis.
Worse, the team lost go-to-guy Will Gozum in the third period after suffering blisters on his foot.
The former NCAA juniors MVP already had 17 points, 10 rebounds, and five block shots when he went out of the game, never to return again.
“This is really big for us especially nakita namin na kaya pala naming tumapos. Sa past few games ang nagiging problema namin is (to) finish except for the last one na we really played bad,” said JRU coach Louie Gonzales.
“Today they showed grit, they showed character.”
Delos Santos finished in double-doubles as he also had 11 rebounds and then added three assists, the last of which led to a Marwin Dionisio basket that gave the Heavy Bombers a 73-68 lead with 38 seconds to play.
A turnover by Robi Nayve and an unsportsmanlike foul called on AJ Benson in the next two possessions doomed the Blazers for good.
Benson finished with 13 points for CSB, which also got 12 from Nayve and 10 each from Miguel Corteza and Ray Carlos, respectively.
The Heavy Bombers clobbered the Blazers off the boards, 59-41, as Dionisio had 11 boards, Chester Jungco with 12 and RJ Arenal with eight.
JRU (74) – Delos Santos 19, Celis 17, Dionisio 9, Agbong 7, Bongay 7, Jungco 6, Arenal 5, Macatangay 4, Estrella 0, G. Gonzales 0.
CSB (68) – Gozum 17, Benson 13, Nayve 12, Corteza 10, Carlos 10, Marcos 3, Lepalam 2, Flores 1, Cullar 0, Sangco 0, Lim 0, Publico 0, Davis 0.
Quarterscores: 17-14; 33-30; 49-50; 74-68.