NCAA: JRU upsets LSGH for first playoff win since 2008

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Oct 26, 2018 12:52 PM
NCAA: JRU upsets LSGH for first playoff win since 2008
Thomas Vasquez ultimately outdueled Joel Cagulangan just as JRU outworked CSB-LSGH (FILE PHOTO)

Against all odds, Jose Rizal University High School’s best season in years continues now in the Final Four of the NCAA 94 Men’s Basketball Tournament.

Overcoming the rampage of Joel Cagulangan and outworking College of St. Benilde-La Salle Greenhills in the endgame, the Light Bombers pulled off an 81-78 upset win on Friday at the Filoil Flying V Centre.

Thomas Vasquez was the hero for the upstarts, dropping seven of his 17 points in the last four minutes to go along with a total of nine rebounds and three assists. “Mula pa start ng season, yung dedication ng mga players, sobra-sobra. Nakaka-proud,” a beaming head coach Vic Lazaro said post-game.

Cagulangan’s layup put the Junior Blazers up by four, 70-66, with 4:03 remaining until Vasquez and John Amores conspired for a 7-0 run to take away a 73-70 lead for their team.

Still, Cagulangan had all the answers for the defending champions and another layup from him put them up, 78-77, with 36.7 ticks to go on the clock.

At the other end, though, Vasquez hit an impossible midrange jumper over the outstretched arms of 6-foot-8 Ladis Lepalam while falling to the floor. That proved to be the go-ahead basket as JRU nudged in front, 79-78.

Off a timeout, CSB-LSGH found Sidney Mosqueda open in the corner, but he missed his triple try.

Mark Sangco had a clean shot for a putback, but it just seemed like lady luck was just smiling at the Light Bombers and it was too strong.

Not long after a couple of charities from Marwin Dionisio and a couple of misses from Cagulangan, JRU was celebrating its first playoff win since September 2008. “Tuwang-tuwa kami kasi sa three seasons namin, ‘di pa namin ntatalo LSGH. What a time para matalo namin sila,” coach Vic said.

Dionisio wound up with an 11-point, 17-rebound double-double while John Delos Santos also added 16 markers, seven boards, and three assists.

Vasquez, Dionisio, and Delos Santos more than made up for an off-game from main man Amores who only had 14 points in 5-of-23 shooting.

Despite the breakthrough win, however, the fourth-seed Light Bombers have their sights set on even greater heights. As their mentor put it, “‘Di pa tapos e. May isa pa. Balewala ‘tong panalo na ‘to kung ‘di namin mauulit sa second game.”

For the Junior Blazers, Cagulangan scored a career-high 29 points on top of six rebounds and three assists while Joshua David contributed 16 markers, eight boards, and five dimes of his own.

Other than those two, however, the defending champions weren’t themselves and now go back to the drawing board to prepare for their do-or-die matchup on Monday still at the same venue.

BOX SCORES

JRU 81 – Vasquez 17, Delos Santos 16, Amores 14, Dionisio 11, Baluyut 8, Icban 6, Macatangay 4, Ganut 3, Portales 2, Bucoy 0, Mangio 0, Fortuna 0.

CSB-LSGH 78 – Cagulangan 39, David 16, Lepalam 6, Fornilos 5, Calimag 5, Sangco 4, Morales 3, Mosqueda 0, Lao 0, Palencia 0, Valenzuela 0, Cortez 0.

QUARTER SCORES: 26-23, 37-38, 55-61, 81-78.

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