JOSE Rizal University stunned San Beda, 74-65, on Saturday at The Arena in San Juan, dealing the defending champions their second straight loss in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.
The Heavy Bombers banked on a back-breaking run behind Jaycee Asuncion and Tey Teodoro early in the fourth quarter to pull off the upset and deal the Red Lions their second straight loss and only fourth overall in 17 games.
It was a rare losing streak for the Lions, who haven’t lost two straight since five years ago when they were swept in the 2009 Finals against San Sebastian.
The Bombers scored their 10th victory in 16 games to return to the Final Four picture, gaining a piece of fourth spot with Perpetual Help.
“Hindi umatras ang mga bata sa physical play,” Bombers coach Vergel Meneses said. “We knew we had to come up with a team effort to beat San Beda.”
Asuncion and Teodoro stood tallest in the balanced scoring effort in a battle between the league’s top defensive teams.
Asuncion, the senior guard, waxed hot from long range with three triples that anchored his game-high 19 points in 26 minutes.
The rookie Teodoro, on the other hand, scored from inside, with daredevil drives as he showed maturity beyond his years.
“Tingin namin dito last game of the season na,” said Teodoro, who scored six of his 15 points in the payoff period, in which, the Bombers started with a 17-3 salvo that extended a four-point lead to 18, 68-50 halfway through that took the fight out of the Lions.
JRU 74 – Asuncion 19, Teodoro 15, Paniamogan 11, Abdul Wahab 10, Mabulac 9, Benavides 5, Lasquety 3, Sanchez 2, Salaveria 0, Grospe 0
SBC 65 – Adeogun 19, Koga 9, Mendoza 9, Dela Cruz 8, Amer 6, Sara 5, Pascual 4, Tongco 4, Cabanag 2, A. Semerad 0, D. Semerad 0
Quarterscores: 16-15, 33-26, 51-47, 74-65