JOSE Rizal University had answers to every Letran uprising as it scored a crucial 77-68 win in the NCAA Season 93 on Thursday at the Filoil Flying V Center in San Juan.
The victory allowed the Heavy Bombers to create a little bit of breathing space as they still sit at the third spot with a 7-4 record, a game and a half ahead of idle San Sebastian with a 5-5 slate.
The Knights on the other hand dropped their third straight game following a four game winning run and they slip to fifth place with a 5-6 record.
Ervin Grospe and Jed Mendoza spearheaded a huge third quarter for the Heavy Bombers, opening a double-digit spread after a fairly close first half.
JP Calvo tried to will the Knights back in the game, with Letran coming to as close as eight points, 66-58, with roughly four minutes left, but the Heavy Bombers were quick to respond.
Abdul Razak Abdul Wahab scored on the press break a possession later before Mendoza drained the backbreaking three off the glass with 2:39 left to give JRU a 71-58 lead and finish off the Knights for good.
"The character of the team coming off a heartbreaking loss in a game which we should have won, yun yung key," said head coach Vergel Meneses as his team bounced back from a 115-109 double overtime loss against Arellano.
"Last game we gave up more than 100 points so that was really our focus today, our defense. Our defense is our best offense," he added.
Grospe and Tey Teodoro paced the Heavy Bombers with 15 points apiece as Mendoza added 11 points, seven rebounds and four assists.
Ball movement was also the key for these Heavy Bombers with 20 of their 29 made field goals coming off assists.
Calvo paced the Knights with 21 points, Rey Nambatac added 14, Bong Quinto scored 12 and Jerrick Balanza added 11.
JRU 77 - Grospe 15, Teodoro 15, Mendoza 11, Dela Virgen 10, Lasquety 9, Poutouochi 7, Abdulrazak 6, Sawat 4, Bordon 0, David 0.
Letran 68 - Calvo 21, Nambatac 14, Quinto 12, Balanza 11, Mandreza 6, De Villa 2, Vacaro 2, Balagasay 0, Bernabe 0, Caralipio 0, Gedaria 0, Pamulaklakin 0, Pascual 0, Taladua 0.
Quarterscores: 12-12, 36-27, 58-45, 77-68.