MANILA, Philippines – Jose Rizal University posted back-to-back wins after defeating Emilio Aguinaldo College 77-71 in the NCAA Season 99 Men’s Basketball Tournament on Wednesday at the San Juan Arena.
The motivation for the Heavy Bombers, who improved to 3-1 on the season, was evident in the stinging loss to the Season 98 finalists, Blazers.
“After that loss (against College of St. Benilde) it was a really tough day and after that all we did was trust each other, especially because our next two games weren’t easy,” JRU coach Louie Gonzales said. whose team defeated Mapua in the Philippines on Sunday.
“The good thing is that we were lucky against Mapua and tonight too. We get all of these thanks to all the hard work we have done since the pre-season.”
Agem Miranda was the X-factor for JRU with 20 points, five assists, four rebounds and three steals. Marwin Dionisio also had an all-around game with 15 points, seven rebounds and six assists. Joshua Guiab, meanwhile, finished with a rebounding double-double of 13 points and nine boards.
Nat Cosejo also had a near double-double with 15 points and nine rebounds for the Generals, who slid to a 2-1 mark. Ralph Robin also contributed 12 points, based on three made triples in a losing effort.
Earlier, Mapua stunned the Blazers 75-71.
The Cardinals, who moved to 3-1, benefited from the early departure of reigning MVP Will Gozum due to fouls and improved to a 3-1 record.
Gozum scored 11 points, five rebounds and five turnovers as the Blazers fell to 1-3. Miguel Corteza and Migs Oczon added 15 and 14 points.
Paolo Hernandez exploded for a 22-point performance to propel the Cardinals to victory. Clint Escamis and Jopet Soriano also scored 12 points each in the win.