Bombers book return ticket to Final Four

Bombers book return ticket to Final Four
YEAH, WE BACK. Teytey Teodoro will once again be able to do Teytey Teodoro things in the Final Four.

A season ago, Jose Rizal University missed out on the Final Four party.

Now in the NCAA 93 Men’s Basketball Tournament, they are back and better than ever.

Yet again leaning on what is turning out to be their trademark total team effort, the Heavy Bombers weathered the storm brought about by late-bloomer Mapua University for a 62-58 decision on Tuesday at the Filoil Flying V Centre.

With the win, Vergel Meneses’ boys ascended to 11-6 and assured themselves of a seat in the playoffs.

A season ago, they placed fifth.

Clearly, they have learned their lessons as they have ridden a four-game winning streak to return to the Final Four.

It wasn’t easy, however, as up against a team which has long been eliminated from contention but is coming off back-to-back wins, JRU figured in a close contest.

Drawing from the maturity it has gotten throughout the tournament, however, they had Ervin Grospe and Jed Mendoza get back-to-back buckets to increase a slim two-point lead into a more comfortable 62-56 advantage inside the last three minutes.

Laurenz Victoria again neared the Cardinals to within four, but from that point, the Heavy Bombers’ defense wouldn’t budge anymore as several shots from Andoy Estrellla didn’t come close to going in.

That defensive stand allowed Meneses’ boys to get away with no makes of their own in the same time frame.

Teytey Teodoro topped the scoring column with 19 points while Mendoza and Grospe chipped in 10 and eight markers, respectively.

JRU ends its elimination round assignments up against undefeated Lyceum of the Philippines University. Whatever happens there, they will then enter the playoffs with a twice-to-win disadvantage.

Almel Orquina paced Mapua with 14 points while Christian Bunag contributed a 10-point, 19-rebound double-double.

Even with the loss that dropped them to 3-12, however, they should be satisfied with their continued much-improved play as of late.

BOX SCORES

JRU 62 - Teodoro 19, Mendoza 10, Sawat 9, Grospe 8, Lasquety 6, Bordon 4, Abdulrazak 2, Poutouochi 2, David 2, Dela Virgen 0.

MAPUA 58 - Orquina 14, Pelayo 11, Bunag 10, Victoria 8, Estrella 8, Raflores 6, Aguirre 1, Gabo 0, Jimenez 0.

QUARTER SCORES: 21-17, 36-32, 52-47, 62-58.

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