Author Topic: JRU fends off Mapua to secure NCAA semis berth  (Read 169 times)


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JRU fends off Mapua to secure NCAA semis berth
« on: October 10, 2017, 12:00:49 PM »
The Jose Rizal University (JRU) Heavy Bombers overcame a sluggish performance to hold off Mapua University Cardinals, 62-58, and become the third team to enter the Final 4 of the NCAA Season 93 men's basketball tournament.
Behind a 19-point effort from Tey Teodoro, the Heavy Bombers survived a gutsy challenge by the Cardinals on Joonas Donskoi Authentic Jersey Tuesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
Jed Mendoza and John Grospe hit the crucial buckets in the end game that ensured JRU's win.
"Ayaw namin na aasa kami sa other teams (to make it to the Final 4)," said JRU coach Vergel Meneses, who was wary that his team might be dragged into a playoff for a semis berth.
Meneses was far from pleased with how his players performed, especially as they were never able to pull away from a Mapua squad that is already eliminated from the Final 4 hunt.
"I'm not happy about the win," he said bluntly. "They didn't want to follow instructions, they thought we can beat them all on offense."
Juan Martin del Potro saved four break points in the decider to battle past Georgian qualifier Nikoloz Basilashvili on Monday and reach the Shanghai Masters second round.
The Argentine, who prevailed 6-2 3-6 6-4, looked on course for a routine win after taking the first set in 23 minutes but world number 59 Basilashvili pounced on his errors in the next to level the match.
Attacking Del Potro's serve at 4-4 in the third, Basilashvili earned four chances to break and serve for the match. But the 2013 finalist defended resolutely and switched gears to set up a meeting with Russian teenager Andrey Rublev.
South Korea's Chung Hyeon eased past world number 13 Roberto Bautista Agut, last year's runner-up, 6-4 6-3 to equal the best victory of his career.
World number 60 Chung, who beat David Goffin when the Belgian was ranked 13th in Montreal Alfred Blue Youth Jersey this year, next faces Richard Gasquet.
American qualifier Frances Tiafoe stunned Benoit Paire 6-4 6-4 and fired a warning to the experienced players on the Tour.
"A lot of us younger guys are playing well, doing well, and it's going to help others step up," he said. "I think you're going to see a lot of us in the top 50. The other guys are going to have to leave eventually."
The Cardinals came as close as two points, 56-58, with still 4:38 to play off a bucket by veteran guard Andoy Estrella.
However, they were unable to come any closer. Grospe's runner made it a four-point game, and off a Mapua miss, Mendoza grabbed the board and raced all the way to the other end for a lay-up that made it 62-56 with 2:36 to go.
Laurenz Victoria kept Mapua in the game, 62-58, but in their next possession, Estrella bricked a triple that could have made it a one-point game. The Heavy Bombers cruised from that point on.
JRU improved to 11-6, still ahead of Colegio de San Juan de Letran (8-8), San Sebastian College (7-8) and Arellano University (6-9) – the three teams chasing the last Final 4 spot.
Mendoza struggled with his shooting but still finished with 10 points, while AbdulWahab AbdulRazak had 17 rebounds in the game. The Heavy Bombers limited the Cardinals to only 29.41% shooting from the field.
This is JRU's fifth Final 4 appearance since 2010, when Meneses took over as head coach.
Almel Orquina led Mapua with 14 points, while Estrella had eight points and nine assists. Christian Bunag finished with a double-double of 10 points and 19 boards, but it was not enough as the Cardinals' two-game winning streak came to a halt. Mapua dropped to 3-13 in the season.