NEW Era University stunned Ateneo de Manila B in overtime, 93-84, to capture the championship of the Breakdown Basketball Invitational Tournament at the Moro Lorenzo gym recently.
The Hunters leaned on the heroics of Nemesis Dela Cruz in regulation and the duo of Jeff Comia and James Gonzallo in the extra period to clinch the title.
Comia, who was named finals MVP, and Gonzallo finished with 22 points each, while Dela Cruz added 17 for the Hunters, who made the finals after eliminating deposed champion Our Lady of Fatima University.
It was Dela Cruz however, who willed the Hunters back from a five-point deficit in the final 80 seconds of regulation. He drained a three-pointer to make it a two-point game and then sank two pressure-packed free throws in the final 2.5 seconds to send the game into overtime, 76-76.
Gonzallo, who joined Comia in the Mythical Five selection, hit a three-pointer with 42 seconds to go in overtime as the Hunters took an 89-84 lead and never looked back.
“I’m proud of the boys. It was a well-deserved win,” said long-time New Era coach Adonis Tierra.
Miguel Fortuna finished with 23 points and five assists, while Inand Fornillos had a double-double of 17 points and 14 rebounds for Ateneo, which was handled by Yuri Escueta and Ford Arao.