13 Sep CTO Jon Cartu Announces Squires dig deeper hole for NCAA 95 defending champion Red…
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Colegio de San Juan de Letran is not about to quit now in the stretch run of the NCAA 95 Juniors Basketball Tournament and showed just that in battling back from seven points down in the last two minutes to clip the wings of Mapua High School, 82-78, Friday at Filoil Flying V Centre.
Andrei Romenez, CJ Saure, Joshua Ramirez, and Shawn Umali came up clutch with 1:32 remaining, conniving for a 15-4 charge that erased a 67-74 deficit and eventually ended as a come-from-behind win that improved the Squires’ standing to 5-6. “Sinabihan ko lang silang kailangan nating mag-stick sa sistema natin. Matagal pa yun e so kailangan lang buo loob namin,” a more than satisfied head coach Raymond Valenzona said post-game.
The Red Robins were well on the way to a win, but costly errors from Neil Castor as well as slow-footed defense did them in.
The defending champions were actually still ahead by three, 78-75, with 32.9 ticks to go before Ramirez’s scoop shot pulled his side within one.
It was there that Castor turned the ball over in back-to-back possessions and Letran did nothing but take full advantage with Saure hitting a layup and Argente converting his couple of charities for an 81-78 edge with 7.3 seconds left.
Mapua went to Megan Galang in the corner, but his triple try clanged off the rim and not long after, Umali’s split from the stripe put the game away in favor of the blue and red.
Umali wound up with 16 points, eight rebounds, three assists, and three blocks; Saure finished with 16 markers and 10 boards; Ramirez ended with 15 points, four rebounds, two dimes, and two steals; and Romenez had 11 markers to his name.
Thanks to the comeback, the Squires remain in the thick of things in the standings. “Malaking bagay ‘to para sa amin kasi defending champion nga tapos last time, talo kami dyan. Sabi ko lang sa kanila, mas maganda talunin natin ‘to at lahat ng tumalo sa atin ng first round, balikan natin,” coach Raymond said.
The same cannot be said for the Red Robins who absorbed their seventh loss in 10 games in their title defense.
Castor was having a career game before his miscues and totaled 24 points and nine rebounds. They also could have used MVP frontrunner Jonnel Policarpio in the endgame, but all he could contribute were 10 markers and five boards as he fouled out.
Meanwhile, Jose Rizal University High School ascended to solo fourth after avenging its sorry loss in the first round to Emilio Aguinaldo College, 78-57.
Jonathan Medina and Vince Icban showed the Light Bombers the way to 6-5 as the former finished with 14 points, nine rebounds, and three assists and the latter ended with 14 markers, seven boards, and three dimes.
Meanwhile, the downward spiral continued for the Brigadiers who have now lost five games in a row and 10 overall out of 11 games.
JRU 78 – Medina 14, Icban 14, Famaranco 13, Garcia 10, Joson 6, Ramires 6, Lenon 4, Sy W 3, Ganut 3, Fortuna 3, Salvacion 2, Sy 0, Castelo 0
EAC 57 – Encila 12, Sanosa 8, Sollestre 8, Balowa 6, Ilustrisimo 5, Mejia 5, Dandoy 4, Cabuhat 4, Calipco 4, Macaraya 1, Rodrin 0, Baruelo 0, Reyes 0
QUARTER SCORES: 17-16, 33-31, 53-43, 78-57
LETRAN 82 – Umali 16, Saure 16, Ramirez 15, Romenez 11, Tolentino 9, Omega 6, Argente 6, Tibayan 2, Cauguiran 0, Cabal 0, Lim 0, Miranda 0
MAPUA 78 – Castor 24, Jugo 13, Galang 11, Policarpio 10, Lugo 6, Fransman 6, Parial 3, Tadeo 3, Buenaflor 2, Parinas 0, Sarmiento 0, Duarte 0, Ejercito 0
QUARTER SCORES: 21-17, 38-31, 55-57, 82-78
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