DENIED of playing the hero’s role in the loss to Arellano, Jed Mendoza made up with another heroic showing in a winning effort this time as he steered Jose Rizal University to a convincing 65-62 victory over Letran in the NCAA Season 93 on Friday at the Filoil Flying V Center in San Juan.
With Teytey Teodoro hounded by the Letran defense in the second half, the Heavy Bombers went to the sophomore guard and he certainly didn’t disappoint, scoring 13 of his 17 points after the break to go along with seven rebounds and four assists.
“Well, galing kami sa kumbaga masakit na talo. Yun yung pwede kami manalo or pwede kami matalo so it’s a good sign for us with this win,” said JRU head coach Vergel Meneses.
“Nakita namin kung pano bumalik character ng team,” he added.
Mendoza tore the Letran defense to shreds in the second half, scoring on nifty lay-ups and contested baskets, with his last lay-up giving the Heavy Bombers their biggest lead of the night, 61-50, with 4:08 left in the game.
The Knights made one last push in the endgame, going on a 12-4 run to cut the lead to just three, 65-62, with just nine seconds to go.
Two missed free throws from Teodoro gave Letran one last shot to steal the game, but Mendoza had one more heroic play left in him as he forced JP Calvo to a turnover as time expired.
Teodoro had a quiet night in the second half but still wound up with 14 points to support Mendoza’s heroics. Gio Lasquety added 10 points and six rebounds while seldom-used Richard David also earned praises from Meneses as he finished with nine points off the bench.
Bong Quinto led Letran with 16 points and six rebounds while Nambatac added 14 points for the Knights who just can’t find consistency after three games in the season.
With the victory, the Heavy Bombers ended their two game slide to improve to 2-2 as the Knights fell to 1-2 for the tournament.
JRU 65 – Mendoza 17, Teodoro 14, Lasquety 10, David 9, Abdul Razak 5, Grospe 4, Poutouochi 4, Bordon 2, Dela Virgen 0, Castor 0
LETRAN 62 – Quinto 16, Nambatac 14, Calvo 11, Balanza 7, Ambohot 6, Balagasay 6, Taladua 2, Pamulaklakin 0, Vacaro 0, Bernabe 0, Gedaria 0
QUARTER SCORES: 14-12, 28-24, 47-40, 65-62