The Jose Rizal University Heavy Bombers survived a spirited rally with a 64-57 beating of the University of the East Warriors last Thursday in the semifinal round of the 18th Fr. Martin Summer Cup basketball tournament.
The Heavy Bombers, who arranged a finals showdown with the Ateneo Blue Eagles, banked on the charities of John Villarias and Alex Almario at endgame to hold off the Warriors at the Trinity University of Asia gymnasium.
The Blue Eagles let Nico Salva take charge in the early goings as they swamped an undermanned Adamson Falcons, 71-44, and forged a 1 p.m. winner-take-all title clash with JRU.
Earlier in the women’s semis, Snow Penaranda and Princess Joy Cochico provided the big points for Adamson Lady Falcons, who beat Far Eastern University, 64-63, and earn a final seat with the La Salle Lady Archers.
Ina Sarah Corcuera and Nicole Anne Garcia hit crucial baskets for the Lady Archers, who won over the Lyceum Lady Pirates, 66-63.
Antonio Asistio hacked out 17 points and Thirdy Ravena drilled in 14 for the Ateneo Blue Eaglets, who fought off FEU, 64-59, and set a junior division titular playoff with the San Beda Red Cubs.
Evan Jacob Furaque made 14 points for the Red Cubs, who outplayed the National University Bullpups, 69-54.
Villarias and Almario came into the picture in the last 34 seconds, and finally kept the Warriors in check, and ended a big effort to recover from a 20-point halftime deficit.
The Warriors, with six-foot-seven Cameroonian Charles Mammie (22 points) leading a big second half uprising, were threatening by three, 57-60, when Villarias scored on a free throw, and halted UE’s efforts in the last 34 seconds.
Almario sank three of his four charity attempts in the remaining time to keep JRU safely ahead by seven as time expired.
The Falcons felt the absence of one of their top scorers Jericho Cruz as the Blue Eagles unleashed a 20-9 blast in the first period, and with Salva hitting eight of his nine-point output.
Cruz was suspended for a game after scuffling with Far Eastern University Tamaraws cager Roger Pogoy in the final minute of their semis tiff with the Tams.
The Blue Eagles, with Oping Sumalinog and Greg Slaughter dishing out 12 and 11 points, never looked back as they enjoyed a 30-16 edge off Tonino Gonzaga’s basket, and moved away, 51-28, behind Kiefer Ravena’s trey.
Ronnie Carampil led JRU with 12 points while Almario had 10.
» San Beda Red Lions still favorite to win NCAA Season 89 championship, say rival coaches
» With PBA experience and run-and-gun offense, Bo Perasol hopes to continue Ateneo’s title run
» Backup no more: Justin Chua outshines ex-Ateneo teammate Greg Slaughter in PBA D-League finals