Paolo Pontejos sparks late Jose Rizal Bombers charge to bring down Letran Knights
Paolo Pontejos lets out a big shout after leading a huge Jose Rizal run in the final quarter of its win over Letran. Jerome Ascano

PAOLO Pontejos had 21 points and starred in a fourth quarter burst as Jose Rizal University brought down Letran, 86-80, on Friday in the NCAA Season 91 seniors basketball tournament at The Arena in San Juan.

Pontejos sparked a 13-2 run during that pivotal stretch to steer the Heavy Bombers to their third straight win and cement their hold of sixth place with a 9-6 win-loss record.

Letran slumped to its second straight loss and fell to 11-4 in what has become a wild chase for top seedings entering the Final Four.

The loss by the Knights paved the way for to climb at first place with an 11-3 card, while Perpetual Help is in solo third at 10-4.

Mapua and Arellano, meanwhile, share fourth with a 10-5 card.

“Sabi ko nga sa kanila, one game at a time,” said JRU coach Vergel Meneses. “We still have a chance. Let’s just do things right.”

JRU did just that with Pontejos scoring nine points in the final quarter that turned a 69-70 deficit into an 82-72 lead with 2:43 left in the game.

“We won this game because of execution, extra passes, and siyempre ‘yung willingness nila to compete against Letran. Everybody knows how hard it is to beat Letran,” Meneses said.

John Grospe had 13 points while Darius Estrella added 11 as JRU won even with key player Tey Teodoro playing just 16 minutes in the game.

Kevin Racal added 23 points while Mark Cruz added 17 markers for the Knights.

The scores
JRU (86) - Pontejos 21, Grospe 13, Estrella 11, Dela Paz 10, Teodoro 9, Poutouochi 8, Abdul Wahab 5, Sanchez 4, Cruz 3, Astilla 2, Aurin 0, Balagtas 0, Dela Virgen 0.

Letran (80)—Racal 23, Cruz 17, Nambatac 12, Sollano 8, Balanza 6, Apreku 4, Luib 4, Calvo 3, Publico 3, Gedaria 0, Balagasay 0, Quinto 0.

Quarterscores: 25-15; 48-40; 64-62; 86-80.

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