JOSE Rizal University simply refused to wilt under pressure, outlasting Arellano, 99-98, in a grueling triple-overtime thriller in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament on Friday at The Arena in San Juan.
Guards Jaycee Asuncion and Tey Teodoro hit the key baskets in the clutch, while big men Michael Mabulac and Razak Abdul Wahab provided the muscle down low as the Heavy Bombers emerged victorious in the longest game so far in Season 90.
The Bombers moved over the .500 mark, improving to a 4-3 win-loss record, while dealing the Chiefs, considered a top title contender this season, only their second loss in seven games.
“This just proves that anybody can beat anybody. Look what happened to the St. Benilde-San Beda game,” Bombers coach Vergel Meneses said, referring to the Blazers’ 83-76 upset of the Red Lions last Monday.
Asuncion, the transferee from University of Perpetual Help, scored the Bombers’ last four points in the third overtime, the last two on free throws that gave them enough cushion to hold off the Chiefs and complete a stunning reversal after they trailed most of regulation.
The combo guard finished with 21 points, four boards, and four assists in 42 minutes.
“Andun na kami eh. Pagod na kami lahat. Sasayangin pa ba namin?” said Mabulac, who typified the Bombers’ hard work, finishing with 21 points and 19 rebounds. ‘Di naman siguro aabot sa pang-apat na overtime kaya inisip namin na tapusin na sa third.”
Mabulac’s frontcourt partner, Abdul Wahab, was likewise a workhorse in the paint, producing 18 points, 21 boards, and two blocks.
Teodoro played just 12 minutes and chipped in just six points, but all of the fearless rookie guard’s output came in the overtime periods, including the floater that forced the third extra session.
It was the first triple overtime match in the NCAA in three years or since 2011 when--you guessed it--JRU turned back University of Perpetual Help, 79-77, in a low-scoring elimination-round game.
The loss put to waste the efforts of the Chiefs’ Jiovani Jalalon, who registered 21 points, eight boards, six assists, and three steals, and Dioncee Holts, who added 25 points and 10 rebounds.
Jalalon had the chance to win the game, but his jumper was blocked by Clint Munez at the buzzer.
Nard Pinto also missed two potential game-winning shots for Arellano in the first and second overtimes.
JRU 99 – Asuncion 21, Mabulac 21, Abdul Wahab 18, Paniamogan 15, Grospe 6, Teodoro 6, Benavides 6, Munez 4, Sanchez 2, Salaveria 0
AU 98 – Holts 25, Jalalon 21, Hernandez 13, Pinto 8, Agovida 8, Bangga 6, Caperal 6, Nicholls 3, Gumaru 2, Enriquez 2, Ortega 2, Cadavis 2, Salcedo 0, Ciriacruz 0
Quarterscores: 8-12, 25-31, 43-51, 70-70, 79-79, 85-85, 99-98