MANILA, Philippines – Jose Rizal University (JRU) pounced on the shooting woes and foul trouble of last year’s runner-up, Mapua High School, to claim an 80-70 win and earn a share of the lead in the NCAA Season 94 juniors basketball tournament on Thursday at the JRU Gym in Mandaluyong City.
Marwin Dionisio came off the bench to finish with a double-double of 19 points and 11 rebounds, while Cadell Buno (14 points), John Amores (13 points), and Thomas Vasquez (12 points) each reached double figures as well.
The win propelled the Light Bombers to a share of the top spot alongside University of Perpetual Help and San Sebastian College.
The Junior Altas stunned San Beda University, 72-69, while the Staglets edged Lyceum of the Philippines University, 69-68, last Sunday.
Clint Escamis, the lone remaining starter from last year’s runner-up team, committed three fouls in the first quarter and had four in the first half. He ended up playing just 16 minutes of the game – three in the second half – and scored just nine points.
However, JRU coach Vic Lazaro was quick to point out that their triumph over Mapua was no fluke.
“We won against them last year, in the first round,” said Lazaro, referring to a powerhouse Mapua squad that still included Will Gozum, Warren Bonifacio, and Jasper Salenga.
“The boys showed they want to beat them again, and they played with heart,” he added.
JRU 80- Dionisio 19, Buno 14, Amores 13, Vasquez 12, Baluyot 8, Mendoza 6, Portales 4, Icban 4, delos Santos 0, Macatangay 0, Fortuna 0, Garcia 0
MU 70- Sarias 16, Mariano 13, Escamis 9, Policarpio 8, Quimado 8, Hernandez 7, Smith 6, Arches 3, Dennison 0, Chavez 0, Fransman 0, Diaz 0
Quarter scores: 18-12; 43-33; 63-60; 80-70
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