Jose Rizal University rode on Paolo Pontejos’ crucial effort as it slew a previously unscathed San Beda College, 79-73, on Tuesday to help breathe life to its dying Final Four campaign in the NCAA Season 92 Men’s Basketball Division at the FilOil Flying V Arena, San Juan.
Drawing a surprise start, Pontejos responded by unleashing a season-high-tying 27-point performance, eight of which came in the fourth quarter when the Bombers completed a massive comeback to escape with their fourth win against five setbacks.
Pontejos was also responsible for drawing the defenders and setting up teammate Teytey Teodoro for that huge triple with less than two minutes to play that gave Jose Rizal U the lead for good.
“He responded to the challenge”, said JRU head coach Vergel Meneses of Pontejos, who averaged 9.9 points before his eruption.
The win more than made up for Jose Rizal’s stinging 69-89 loss to Arellano University last Friday.
Powered by the bullstrong Donald Tankoua, the Red Lions looked they would blow out the Bombers after leading by as much as 16 points, 63-47, late in the third canto.
Pontejos, however, was persevering and slowly but surely helped the Bombers claw their way back.
And then that massive Teodoro triple.
Fil-Am Davon Potts, who is known for making clutch shots, was not himself and was scoreless in the fourth quarter to end up with just 11 points as the Red Lions absorbed their first loss of the season after stringing together eight straight wins.
JRU Heavy Bombers (79) – Pontejos 27, Poutouochi 14, Teodoro 14, Grospe 9, Dela Virgen 5, Lasquety 4, Cruz 4, Abdul Wahab 2, Dela Paz 0, Mendoza 0
San Beda Red Lions (73) – Tankoua 28, Potts 11, Soberano 7, Bolick 6, Mocon 6, Noah 6, Oftana 4, Tongco 2, Sara 2, Presbitero 1, Alas 0, Bonsubre 0, Navarro 0
Quarterscores: 14-22, 35-37, 53-66, 79-73