JOSE Rizal University’s outside shooting clicked along with its ever-reliable full-court defense as it repulsed Emilio Aguinaldo College, 85-79, Monday in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament at The Arena in San Juan.
Already drawing the usual offensive effort from guards Philip Paniamogan and Paolo Pontejos, the Heavy Bombers found another outside threat in rookie forward Marco Balagtas in scoring their third win in five games to secure third place.
Balagtas buried four triples, including two in the final frame where the undersized 19-year-old big man conspired with the two guards and skipper Michael Mabulac in helping the Bombers built a double-digit cushion.
“Bata ko yan eh,” Bombers coach Vergel Meneses said of his fellow Bulakenyo from Malolos. “Yung offense niya, alam ko he has the ability to make those shots, but I need him more on rebounding.”
“Binibigyan naman ako ng license ni coach basta open,” said Balagtas, who scored all but two of his points -- all three-pointers -- in the second half. “Pero kailangan ko pa rin mag extra work kasi malalaki talaga mga kalaban eh,” the 6-foot-2 Balagtas said.
Paniamogan fired seven of his 23 points in the fourth quarter, while Mabulac churned in 16 points and nine boards. His short stab also gave the Bombers their biggest lead at 83-69 with less than four minutes remaining.
The Generals, however, threatened and trimmed the lead down to just single digits, before the Bombers turned to their suffocating defense to deal the Generals their fourth loss in five games.
Jose Rizal (85) -- Paniamogan 23, Mabulac 16, Balagtas 14, Pontejos 12, Juanico 6, Lasquety 5, Salaveria 4, Dela Paz 3, Abanto 2, Benavides 0.
Emilio Aguinaldo (79) -- Happi 20, Arquero 14, Paguia 12, Tayongtong 10, King 8, Jamon 6, Castro 4, Morada 3, Munsayac 2.
Quarterscores: 21-21; 37-34; 63-59; 85-79.