Garcia breathes more life to Generals’ playoff push
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Sep 19, 2017 04:25 PM
PEAKING. Jerome Garcia and EAC remain alive and kicking in the playoff race.
Just as Jerome Garcia has gotten hot, Emilio Aguinaldo College has gotten hot just in time for a playoff push in the NCAA 93 Men’s Basketball Tournament.
Garcia fired nine of his 16 points in the last seven minutes, Jeric Diego delivered all but two of his 11 markers in the final five minutes, and the Generals got the better of Jose Rizal University, 88-84, on Tuesday at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
The win was a big-time turnaround for Ariel Sison’s wards who were blown out the last time the two teams met, 48-77. “Wala akong masabi kundi thankful talaga sa players ko kasi they are doing their very best,” the head coach said.
The first-year swingman and the veteran forward conspired for 10 points in the 12-4 run that turned a seven-point deficit into an 81-80 lead inside the last two minutes.
After another defensive stop, Sidney Onwubere’s three from an assist by Francis Munsayac then hiked the EAC edge to 84-80 with 57.4 ticks to go.
Jed Mendoza kept the Heavy Bombers alive and kicking at 86-88 with 18.4 seconds remaining, but Garcia’s free throws coupled with standout defense led the Generals to back-to-back wins.
Garcia and Diego also hauled in four rebounds apiece to help fan the playoff hopes of their team which now stands at 6-6 and solo fourth.
In his last playing year, Onwubere continued showing the way for EAC with 28 points and eight rebounds. “Hinahanap talaga namin as graduating players na magdala ng history, magdala ng Final Four para sa EAC,” he expressed.
While they are inside the playoff picture at present, they also have right behind them in the standings traditional powerhouses Colegio de San Juan de Letran and San Sebastian College-Recoletos who are both at 5-6.
Mendoza paced JRU with 22 points while Teytey Teodoro also added 18 markers.
Running low on fuel in the last two minutes, however, they fall to 7-6, still at solo third.
EAC 88 – Onwubere 28, Garcia 16, Diego 11, Tampoc 11, Munsayac 9, Mendoza I 7, Bugarin 2, Guzman 2, Pascua 2, Corilla 0, Mendoza J 0, Neri 0
JRU 84 – Mendoza 22, Teodoro 18, Grospe 15, Bordon 12, Poutouochi 6, Abdul Razak 4, Dela Virgen 3, Lasquety 2, Sawat 2, David 0
QUARTER SCORES: 24-22, 36-39, 57-61, 88-84
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