JOSE Rizal University escaped the jaws of defeat behind the heroics of Dave Sanchez, dealing University of Perpetual Help its first loss in four games the NCAA men's basketball tournament.
The Heavy Bombers stunned the Altas, 62-61, on Wednesday thanks to a go-ahead putback floater that sent the JRU gallery at The Arena in San Juan in a frenzy.
That also negated a late collapse that saw them squander a four-point lead with under 18 seconds left.
The Bombers likewise put the clamps on early MVP frontrunner Earl Thompson, who wound up with a season-low nine points on 4-of-13 shooting, and a dismal nine turnovers, although he did have eight rebounds, four blocks, four steals, and two assists in 38 minutes.
"We just went aggressive on them," Bombers coach Vergel Meneses said as his team improved to an even 3-3 win-loss card. "But we committed our own defensive lapses down the stretch."
Sanchez, a second-year guard, contributed just six points, but scored the most important basket in the game with less than two ticks left when he recovered a Philip Paniamogan missed triple then made a floater.
Paniamogan fired a team-high 16 points, including a three-pointer that gave the Bombers a 60-55 lead with less than two minutes to go.
But the star shooter committed a bad pass that left Meneses fuming as it led to a steal by Harold Arboleda and a breakaway layup by Thompson that allowed the Altas to retake the lead at 61-60.
Joel Jolangcob had pulled Perpetual to within one with a triple in the previous possession.
Two of the Altas’ Big Three still came up with big games, with Juneric Baloria firing a game-high 22 points along with three boards and three steals, and Arboleda hauling down a whopping 20 rebounds and scoring 11 points, on top of five assists, three steals, and one block.
JRU 62 – Paniamogan 16, Benavides 8, Mabulac 8, Abdul Wahab 6, Sanchez 6, Asuncion 6, Lasquety 4, Grospe 4, Salaveria 2, Teodoro 2.
UPHSD 61 – Baloria 22, Arboleda 11, Alano 10, Thompson 9, Jolangcob 5, Ylagan 2, Bantayan 2, Oliveria 0, Dizon 0, Gallardo 0, Sadiwa 0, Dagangon 0.
Quarterscores: 17-17; 31-37; 47-49; 62-61.