MANILA, Philippines – After beginning their NCAA campaign with two disappointing losses, the JRU Heavy Bombers have now won a pair of consecutive games after beating the Letran Knights, 69-60, on Monday afternoon, July 14, at the San Juan Arena.
Philip Paniamogan led JRU with 22 points, while Jaypee Asuncion had another all-around showing with 10 markers, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists.
After blowing a 10-point lead in the third quarter, the Heavy Bombers found themselves trailing the Knights entering the final period, 48-45.
Though JRU got the lead back, the rest of the match turned into a back-and-forth affair with neither team succumbing. As the game clock hit 4:40, a three-pointer by Paniamogan increased his club’s breathing room to 4, 54-50.
Kevin Racal countered by nailing two three-balls in the following possessions, giving his team a two-point lead before free throws by Michael Mabulac knotted the contest once again.
After JRU took a two-point edge, a connection between Asuncion and Paniamogan on the break extended their team’s lead to 5 after the latter finished the three-point play. However, back-to-back baskets by Mark Cruz made the count 61-60 not long after.
With the shot clock dwindling down, Paniamogan launched a three that went in and placed his team ahead by four with 37 seconds remaining. Cruz tried to respond, but lost the ball and had no choice but to foul.
The end of the match had unfortunate events, which started when Letran head coach Caloy Garcia was called for his second technical foul of the game with 11.2 seconds left, earning him a disqualification, for complaining with game official Ian Borbe on a non-call.
After the final buzzer sounded, Mark Cruz confronted Borbe, who would later on get hit by a foreign object thrown by a Letran fan. The referee, in response, allegedly displayed his middle finger to said fan.
Cruz and Borbe had to be separated by each other by teammates, while the arena’s bouncers were separating sides from getting into a potential fight.
Racal was also slapped with a technical foul later on for getting into a disagreement with the game’s officials.
Cruz and Racal combined for 36 points to lead the losing side.
Both teams tied at the end of one, but the Heavy Bombers soon went on a tear and upped their lead to 10 at one point in the second quarter.
At the half, the Heavy Bombers were ahead 31-24.
JRU (69): Paniamogan 22, Grospe 10, Teodoro 10, Asuncion 10, Sanchez 4, Salaveria 4, Mabulac 4, Abdul Wahab 3, Lasquety 0, Benavides 0.
Letran (60): Cruz 19, Racal 17, Ruaya 9, Nambatac 6, Singontiko 5, Quinto 2, Publico 2, Castro 0, Tambeling 0, Luib 0, Gabawan 0.
Quarter scores: 14-14, 31-24, 45-48, 69-60.