Staglets stay alive; Gozum, Mapua come back with a vengeance

Staglets stay alive; Gozum, Mapua back with a vengeance
INTERESTING, INTERESTING. It is now just a four-team race for the three remaining playoff berths.

STANDINGS
Mapua 13-3
CSB-LSGH 11-5
San Beda 11-5
Letran 10-6
San Sebastian 9-7
Arellano 7-9
LPU 7-9
Perpetual 5-10
JRU 6-11
EAC 1-15

Whether or not it finds its way into the playoffs, there is no doubt that San Sebastian College-Recoletos has returned to relevance now in the NCAA 93 Juniors Basketball Tournament.

With the backcourt tandem of Alex Desoyo and Daniel Rodriguez dominating all of Arellano High School in overtime, the Staglets charged onto an 88-81 decision on Tuesday at the Filoil Flying V Centre that bolsters their bid for the Final Four.

Desoyo poured in all but two of his nine points while Rodriguez scored unloaded six of his nine markers in the extra period to leave no doubt in claiming the close contest for Baste.

Romel Calahat also played big with a 24-point, 11-rebound double-double while Neil Villapando contributed his own 11 markers and 17 boards as they improved to 9-7 – still breathing down the neck of fourth-running and 10-6 Colegio de San Juan de Letran.

Whether or not they overtake the Squires, San Sebastian will be able to boast that it was by their hands that the Braves’ campaign ended.

As such, Arellano’s three-year streak of Final Four appearances will come to a close. The same goes with the MVP candidacy of erstwhile frontrunner Aaron Fermin.

San Sebastian was on its way to a win, leading by eight after three quarters, before Bryan De Leon and Nino Tamayo willed the Braves back into the game.

They ran out of gas in overtime, however, just as Desoyo and Rodriguez waxed hot.

Fred Segura topped the scoring column for them with 14 points. Fermin was slowed down by foul trouble with only four points and four rebounds.

Meanwhile, Mapua University mightily rebounded from a shock loss just five days ago by grounding Jose Rizal High School, 92-88.

It was no coincidence that the Red Robins’ bounce back was powered by the return of Will Gozum who was out the last time around due to a right knee sprain.

The graduating big man pounded in a career-high 31 points on top of 14 rebounds and two blocks to lift his team back onto the win column now at 13-3. His partner-in-crime Warren Bonifacio also added 18 markers, 15 boards, and two swats for their cause.

With the win, the defending champions are now one win away from locking up the top-seed in the Final Four.

The loss dropped the Light Bombers to a 6-11 standing.

BOX SCORES

FIRST GAME

MAPUA 92 – Gozum 31, Bonifacio 18, Lacap 13, Escamis 11, Garcia 5, Enriquez 5, Rammos 5, Jabel 4, Socias 0, Sarias 0, Arches 0

JRU 88 – Caballero 24, Sicat 14, Camua 12, Tolentino 11, Buazon 10, Serrano 8, Agustin 5, Sabado 4

QUARTER SCORES: 31-25, 51-37, 68-63, 92-88

SECOND GAME

SAN SEBASTIAN 88 – Calahat 24, Aguilar 12, Villapando 11, Desoyo 9, Rodriguez 9, Pelias 8, Sumoda 6, Cuntapay 5, Timbancaya 4, Pasamante 0, Are 0, Magbanua 0, Espiritu 0

ARELLANO 81 – Segura 14, Espiritu 12, Tamayo 11, Liangco 9, Bataller 7, De Leon 7, Fornis 5, Camacho 4, Fermin 4, Camarillo 3, Rivera 3, Velasco 2, Domingo 0

QUARTER SCORES: 15-21, 32-35, 59-51, 75-75, 88-81 (OT)

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