PAOLO Pontejos drilled in 20 points, including eight in the last period as he, Tey Teodoro and Abdul Poutouochi led the Jose Rizal University Heavy Bombers to an upset of the San Beda Red Lions, 79-73, Tuesday at the Arena in San Juan.
Teodoro, who had 14 points with Poutouochi, spearheaded JRU in turning the tables around in the last 1:48 as the Bombers handed the Red Lions their first defeat at the end of the first round of the 92nd National Collegiate Athletic Association men’s basketball tournament.
Potouochi also had 12 rebounds.
JRU bounced back from 53-66 deficit at the end of the third period.
Donald Tankoua banged in 28 points, but he was held to just five points in the last 10 minutes for the Red Lions, who however, remained on top of the standings with their 8-1 slate.
Teodoro’s triple with 1:48 to go allowed JRU to take charge, 74-73, following a 21-6 rally.
They went on to keep the lead after Pontejos hit a jumper and Teodoro followed it with two charities.
“The fourth quarter was the turning point. We made 26 points, while playing defense. Paolo and Teytey (Teodoro) played together because they were playing defense,” said JRU coach Vergel Meneses following their first win over San Beda in two years.
Meanwhile, the defending champion San Beda Red Cubs and the Mapua Red Robins carved out contrasting victories and came up with impressive finishes at the end of the first round of the junior division.
Joshua Tagala shot only six points, including a triple in the last two minutes which helped the struggling Red Cubs repulse the Jose Rizal University Light Bombers, 79-69.
Robi Nayve hit a game-high 15 points for the Cubs, who went on to end their first-round campaign sharing the lead with the Arellano University Braves on similar 8-1 records.
Clint Escamis banged in eight of his 12 points in the second period, and this contributed to the Red Robins’ 95-74 subduing of the Letran Squires.
Romuel Junsay provided 25 points for the Robins as they nailed second place with their seventh win in nine matches.
The Light Bombers (2-7) kept on coming back on the Red Cubs’ numerous turnovers, and threatened, 65-69, off a jumper from Lloyd Sta. Maria in the last 2:53.
Tagala’s triple came with two minutes left, and allowed the Red Cubs to keep their distance, 72-65.
“Ang dami naming turnovers. Na-capitalize nila iyun. Buti na lang sa fourth, nakabawi,” said Red Cubs coach JB Sison.
Escamis struck hardest with two triples in the last 35 seconds of the first period, and the Red Robins went on to move away, 31-16, at halftime.
"At least naramdaman naming ang situation na tina-trap at dinedepensahan kami ng kalaban,” said Red Robins coach Randy Alcantara.
Earlier, La Salle Greenhills downed previously unbeaten Arellano U, 98-69, Monday, to keep its Final Four hopes intact.
Troy Mallinllin exploded with game-high 24 points while Unique Naboa came off the bench and scattered 20 as the Junior Blazers clinched their sixth win against three losses, to move up to third.