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Monday, June 24, 2024

JRU Bomber explodes, ‘KOs’ 2 Blazers in a fit of rage

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A bench-clearing incident in the closing minutes of the fourth quarter forced organizers to declare the College of St. Benilde Blazers as the winner of their unfinished game with the Jose Rizal University Heavy Bombers on Tuesday in the 98th National Collegiate Athletic Association men’s basketball tournament at the FilOil-EcoOil Arena in San Juan.

James Pasturan being attended to on the floor after being floored by a punch by JRU’s John Amores

The decision was reached by the management committee and commissioner Tonichi Pujante almost an hour after Heavy Bomber cager John Amores ran amuck and rushed to the CSB bench, sending of two of the three players he punched, down on the floor.

The score stood at 71-51, with 3:22 left when the referee whistled a foul on Amores for tripping Blazers’ cager Chris Flores during a play.

The foul call sent Amores in fit of rage, charging the Benilde bench swinging, and then dropping James Pasturan and Taine Davis to floor. Their teammate Miguel Oczon also received a blow, but looked unhurt.

Pasturan, who top-scored for 18 points, sustained a left black eye, while Davis’ jaw was slightly swollen.

“I didn’t know that we were beating that team badly. There’s no way we’d do anything (physical) like that, we’re just playing basketball,” said CSB coach Charles Tiu,

The mancom, through Arellano University’s Peter Cayco and Letran’s Fr. Vic Calvo, made a decision with Pujante, to stop the game and prevent the incident from escalating further.

“We were already comfortably ahead when things started to flare up. As an athlete, you got to show a high level of respect in any sport,” said CSB sports director Stephen Fernandez moments after all players retreated to their respective dugouts as event security watched the players sing the school anthems while standing in the middle of the court.

A decision on sanctions and suspensions will be known Wednesday when the Mancom meets again as Mapua duels Arellano University at 12 noon and Lyceum faces San Beda at 3 p.m.

The Blazers sit in second place in the standings with their 10-3 record behind the solo-leading Letran Knights (11-3).

The Heavy Bombers are in fifth with their 6-7 slate.

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