JRU keeps Final Four bid alive with heroics from Pontejos
MANILA, Philippines – Trailing by a double-digit margin at halftime, Jose Rizal University turned the tide in the second half to thump University of Perpetual Help System Dalta, 62-60, to stay in hunt for a Final Fourth berth on Friday, September 25 at the Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan City.
The Vergel Meneses-mentored Heavy Bombers were led by fourth-year skipper Paolo Pontejos, who drained 16 of 19 points in the third quarter to individually outgun the maroon shirts and give JRU a 55-52 cushion entering the final frame.
However, Aric Del Rosario’s Altas regained the lead early in the fourth period with a 7-1 blitz before the Kalentong-based brigade responded with their own 6-1 run.
Cameroonian reinforcement Abdoul Poutouochi nailed a basket that tied the thrilling contest at 60-60 before John Grospe’s putback became the game-winning shot with 2:58 left on the clock.
JRU’s solid defense played a pivotal role down the stretch as the Heavy Bombers held Perpetual Help without a single field goal.
Poutouochi had a double-double feat of 12 points and 10 rebounds to help JRU get its 10th win in 16 outings and keep its semi-final contention alive.
On the other hand, Perpetual Help dropped to an 11-5 record as Earl Scottie Thompson had 12 points, 11 rebounds and 6 assists.
JRU (62) - Pontejos 19, Poutouochi 12, Teodoro 12, Grospe 12, Lasquety 4, Cruz 2, Dela Virgen 1, Astilla 0, Sanchez 0, Balagtas 0, Dela Paz 0, Estrella 0.
Perpetual Help (60) - Dizon 15, Thompson 12, Akhuetie 9, Dagangon 7, Eze 6, Coronel 4, Gallardo 4, Oliveria 3, Ylagan 0, Tamayo 0, Sadiwa 0
Quarter scores: 11-17, 26-38, 55-52, 62-60. – Rappler.com