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MANILA, Philippines – The JRU Heavy Bombers tightened their grip of the fourth spot in the NCAA Season 99 men’s basketball tournament after pulling away from the EAC Generals in the clutch, 77-64, in the FilOil EcoOil Centre on Tuesday, November 14.
With only two games left in their second round schedule, the Heavy Bombers improved their record to 10-6, creating a little separation from the fifth-seeded San Beda Red Lions (8-6) and the sixth-placed Perpetual Help Altas (8-7).
JRU also moved closer to the College of St. Benilde Blazers, who currently sit at the third spot with a 10-5 record.
Marwin Dionisio propelled the Heavy Bombers to the crucial victory with a game-high 16 points, while Jonathan Medina and Joshua Guiab scored 11 points each.
Guiab also grabbed 11 rebounds, while Vince Sarmiento posted his own version of a double-double of 10 markers and 10 boards.
After a nip-and-tuck battle in the first three quarters and the opening minutes of the payoff period, JRU suddenly turned on the jets and closed out the game with a massive 11-0 blast to turn a slim 66-64 cushion into its biggest lead at 13 points.
Ry Dela Rosa kickstarted JRU’s breakaway with a three-pointer at the 4:27 mark of the final frame to put the Heavy Bombers up by two possessions, 69-64.
Medina then scored off a layup in transition, followed by a Guiab putback with 2:25 remaining, which put EAC away for good, 73-64.
Big men Nat Cosejo and JP Maguliano paced the Generals – who slipped to seventh place with an 8-8 card – with 12 markers apiece.
In a non-bearing matchup between two also-ran teams, the defending champion Letran Knights finally snapped their seven-game losing skid with a 67-58 win over the Arellano Chiefs.
Kobe Monje was the lone double-digit scorer for Letran with 13 points on 50% shooting.
Meanwhile, no player scored in double figures for Arellano as Joshua Abastillas and Lars Sunga led the team with 9 points each.
Despite the win, the Knights remained at the bottom of the standings with a 2-14 slate, while the Chiefs fell to 2-13.
Letran 67 – Monje 13, Garupil 9, Cuajao 8, Batallier 8, Santos 7, Go 6, Jumao-as 6, Bojorcelo 5, Javillonar 5, Ariar 0.
Arellano 58 – Abastillas 9, Sunga 9, Mallari 7, Talampas 6, Capulong 5, Yanes 5, Tan 5, Villarente 4, Geronimo 4, Dayrit 2, Dela Cruz 2, Camay 0, Angolan 0, Rosalin 0.
Quarters: 25-15, 40-32, 56-42, 67-58.
JRU 77 – Dionisio 16, Medina 11, Guiab 11, Sarmiento 10, Miranda 8, Delos Santos 7, Dela Rosa 6, Pabilo 5, Arenal 2, De Leon 1, Argente 0, Ramos 0, Sy 0.
EAC 64 – Cosejo 12, Maguliano 12, Gurtiza 11, Luciano 6, Tolentino 6, Angeles 5, Robin 4, Quinal 3, Loristo 2, Umpad 1, Bacud 0, Cosa 0.
Quarters: 25-23, 42-39, 59-57, 77-64.