Agem Miranda overcame cramps to hit the follow-up and then the corner triple that lifted Jose Rizal University over Arellano University, 80-77, and into the win column of the NCAA 95 Men’s Basketball Tournament, Friday at Filoil Flying V Centre.
Miranda dropped a career-best 25 points in efficient 10-of-17 shooting, none bigger than the follow-up that tied the tally and then the corner triple that proved to be the difference between the two teams who were fighting over win no. 1. "I prayed really hard na ibigay ang panalo dahil yung pag-earn sa trust nila, nandun pa rin kami sa proseso. We really struggled in the first three games, pero it's a process nga na dapat naming pagdaanan," head coach Louie Gonzalez said.
With that personal 5-0 run, the Heavy Bombers' two-point deficit with 36 ticks to go eventually ended as their first win in four games.
Along with the scoring, the second-year guard also totaled five points and three assists all while overcoming cramps midway through the final frame.
He was backstopped by rookies Stefan Steinl and John Amores with the former finishing with 14 points and eight rebounds and the latter ending with 11 markers of his own. "I have to give it to my players. Sila rin naman ang kumuha ng panalo," coach Louie said.
JRU actually found itself down big after the opening salvo, but little by little, crawled its way back into the contest.
In the end, Miranda brought them home and gifted coach Louie his first win in blue and yellow.
On the other hand, the Chiefs remained winless through three tries even after a 21-point outburst from Rence Alcoriza. Kent Salado also added 16 markers, six assists, five rebounds, and two steals.
JRU 80 - Miranda 26, Steinl 14, Amores 11, Dionisio 10, Delos Santos 7, Dela Rosa 3, Jungco 3, Aguilar 3, Vasquez 3, Arenal 0, Abaoag 0
ARELLANO 77- Alcoriza 21, Salado 16, Bayla 15, Arana 12, Sablan 8, Concepcion 5, Santos 0, Gayosa 0, Oliva 0, Talampas 0, Espiritu 0, De Guzman 0, Segura 0, Sacramento 0
QUARTER SCORES: 8-22, 34-37, 56-61, 80-77
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