Paniamogan pushes JRU past Mapua for 4th straight win
MANILA, Philippines – Philip Paniamogan unleashed his fury and scored all of his 26 points in the second half to help the Jose Rizal University Heavy Bombers extend its win streak to 4 with an 87-78 victory over the Mapua Cardinals in the men's basketball tournament of NCAA Season 90 on Monday, August 11 at the FilOil Flying V Arena in San Juan.
"What can I say, he's explosive," head coach Vergel Meneses said of Paniamogan. "Siya ang nagpa-lamang sa amin." (He gave us the lead.)
The 23-year old 4th year guard spear-headed JRU's crucial run bridging the third and fourth periods where they pulled away from a 61-all deadlock with under two minutes left in the third and made it 80-66 with 7:26 to play in the fourth.
During that stretch, Paniamogan forced momentum to his team's side with 3 consecutive triples to start the last quarter and capped it off with a pair of freebies after he was punched by Jeson Cantos on the ribs and the latter was called for a disqualifying foul, causing him to be ejected from the game.
Mapua, who was out-rebounded 47-32, couldn't bounce back after that as Paniamogan continued his rampage with the help of Jaycee Asuncion.
Asuncion and Paniamogan were the only Bombers who scored in the payoff period with 14 and 5 points, respectively. Asuncion wound up with 11 points and 3 assists.
Before his splendid peformance, Paniamogan struggled to find his rhythm in the first half as the Heavy Bombers were kept on a short leash by the Cardinals who were also fighting to clinch what could have been only their second win of the season.
But he came out after halftime more relaxed on his way to turning his 0-of-4 three-point shooting in the first half to a 5-of-7 clip from that range in the last two periods.
"Siguro nanggigigil lang ako nung first half," Paniamogan said. "Gusto ko kasi maka-shoot kaagad and maling attitude yun. Nung second half iniba ko yung attitude na yun so naka-score ako sa patience ko."
(I think I just forced my game in the first half. I wanted to shoot right away but that was the wrong attitude. In the second half I changed my attitude and I was able to score because of my patience.)
The Bombers had trouble shaking off Mapua in the first half as the game went up and down. But Meneses made sure to fire his team up in the locker room at the break.
"Nung halftime sabi ko sa kanila, we cannot take this team for granted," Meneses shared. "They can play, it just so happened na natatalo sila sa endgame. So siguro nagising sila dun, and gumana naman sa gitna ng third quarter."
(At halftime I told them they cannot take this team for granted. They can play, it just so happened that they fall apart in the endgame, and they were fired up by it and it worked in the middle of the third.)
Anthony Benavides contributed 17 points and 4 assists, while Bernabe Teodoro had 12 markers, 5 boards and 5 dimes.
For Mapua, who now lost back-to-back after ending their 6-game losing slide against San Sebastian, Carlos Isit led the way with his near triple-double of 21 points, 9 rebounds, and 10 assists.
Joseph Eriobu was a spark off the bench in the third for coach Atoy Co, dropping 14 of his 16 points in that frame.
The Heavy Bombers ended the first round of eliminations at solo third with their 6-3 win-loss record, as Mapua fell to 1-8.
JRU (87) - Paniamogan 26, Benavides 17, Bernabe 12, Asuncion 11 AbdulWahab 7, Mabulac 5, Grospe 4, Sanchez 3, Balagtas 2, Salaveria 0.
Mapua (78)- Isit 21, Eriobu 16, Biteng 12, Saitanan 8, Cantos 8, Serrano 5, Layug 4, Gabo 2, Estrella 2, Canaynay 0, Tubiano 0.