JRU Bombers overcome 18-point deficit in final three minutes, stun Mapua
Tey Teodoro, JRU's man of the hour, celebrates the monumental comeback. Jerome Ascano

TEY Teodoro spearheaded a furious comeback from 18-points down in the final three minutes to lead Jose Rizal University to a 90-87 win over Mapua on Tuesday in the NCAA Season 91 seniors basketball tournament at The Arena in San Juan.

Teodoro scored 18 of his 32 points in the fourth quarter that saw the Heavy Bombers finish the game with a 24-3 run to pull off their fifth in eight outings - and leave the Cardinals in a state of shock.

Teodoro scored 13 points in that mighty run he capped by scoring the go-ahead layup with 3.2 seconds to play to give JRU an 88-87 advantage.

A JRU win looked remote, even improbable, as the team faced a 66-84 deficit. The Heavy Bombers were still down 75-86 with 1:25 left in the fourth before Teodoro took over.

Teodoro nailed back-to-back three-pointers and Paolo Pontejos hit another triple to cut the deficit to three points, 84-87. Teodoro then stole the ball on the very next play, and scored for a possible and-one play with 9.4 seconds.

Despite missing the bonus free throw, JRU got a reprieve as Allwell Oraeme stepped out of bounce while corralling the ball, setting up Teodoro’s game-winner.

After Dave Sanchez connected on two free throws for JRU with 2.3 ticks left, Justin Serrano nearly made the desperate three-pointer for Mapua.

JRU coach Vergel Meneses, however, was not happy with the way the Heavy Bombers won, but, nevertheless, credited his wards for never giving up.

“Ayokong dumating sa sitwayson na naghahabol,” said Meneses.

“’Yun talaga nasa isip ko (na talo na),” said Meneses. “Pero sometimes, it’s not about the coaching; it’s about the players na when it comes na kailangan na talaga, they do it on their own.”

It was a very disappointing loss for Mapua, which dominated the game for the most part despite missing Josan Nimes and CJ Isit due to injuries.

Jordan Dela Paz had 20 points while Pontejos had 16 points for the Heavy Bombers. The two also joined forces with Teodoro to score 12 in the final period.

Oraeme had 25 points and 19 rebounds for the Cardinals while Stephen Que had 19 points including 10 in the third that allowed Mapua to open a 64-53 lead entering the fourth period.

Mapua fell to 4-4.

The scores:

JRU (90) — Teodoro 32, Dela Paz 20, Pontejos 16, Cruz 8, Dela Virgen 5, Abdul Wahab 4, Poutouochi 3, Sanchez 2, Lasquety 0, Aurin 0, Balagtas 0, Grospe 0, David 0.

Mapua (87) — Oraeme 25, Que 19, Biteng 14, Menina 8, Stevens 6, Aguirre 5, Brana 4, Raflors 4, Serrano 2, Villasenor 0, Nieles 0.


Quarterscores: 20-21, 38-34, 53-64, 90-87.

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