JOSE Rizal University flashed its daunting defensive prowess as it rolled past Lyceum, 67-43, on Monday to stay on track for a Final Four berth in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament at The Arena in San Juan.
The Heavy Bombers limited the Pirates to the lowest scoring output by a team this season, resulting in the lopsided victory, their eighth in 12 games that kept them in a share of third spot with Perpetual Help.
The Bombers also dealt the Pirates their third straight loss and seventh overall against five wins to leave their victims stuck in sixth spot.
“When we allow opponents to score more than seventy points, natatalo kami, pero itong effort na pinakita nila, kakaiba,” Bombers coach Vergel Meneses said. “I hope we continue doing this.”
The Pirates’ output was the lowest since, coincidentally, JRU, mustered just 49 points in a loss to San Beda in the season opener.
The Bombers also clicked offensively, with Philip Paniamogan firing 23 points built around four triples, and Michael Mabulac registering a double-double of 13 points and 10 boards.
But it was the Bombers’ trademark full-court trap that proved to be the key as it shackled the Pirates, who wound up with only six points in the first frame.
The Bombers never looked back from there and broke away in the third quarter, where Paniamogan fired 13 of his output.
JRU (67) -- Paniamogan 23, Mabulac 13, Benavides 9, Abdul Wahab 5, Lasquety 5, Grospe 5, Sanchez 4, Teodoro 3, Astilla 0, Salaveria 0, Asuncion 0.
LPU (43) -- Baltazar 11, Zamora 8, Maconocido 8, Gabayni 5, Bulawan 4, Elmejrab 3, Lesmoras 2, Malabanan 2, Pamulaklakin 0, Soliman 0, Taladua 0, Mbida 0.
Quarterscores: 18-6; 32-18; 56-34; 67-43.