A balanced scoring attack by the Heavy Bombers propelled JRU to an easy 85-71 win over the Lyceum Pirates in their first round meeting in Season 88 of the NCAA at the Arena in San Juan.
The win pushed JRU to own the top spot with a 5-1 card while the Pirates dropped their sixth game against two wins.
A fourth quarter run by the Heavy Bombers turned the game into a lopsided affair for the Shaw-based quintet. Collective efforts from John Lopez, Nate Matute and Ronnel Carampil gave the Heavy Bombers an eleven-point lead, 72-61, with over six minutes left.
“Good thing we made some stops in the second half. Third quarter na nag-pick up ang defense namin,” Said JRU coach Vergel Meneses.
With the Pirates lacking the firepower and intensity to bounce back, the Heavy Bombers capitalized on the momentum.
At the seven-minute mark of the fourth, an alley-oop pass from Alex Almario to the high-flying Lopez had the power forward finishing the play with an emphatic two-handed slam.
“We want to sustain this kind of intensity,” said Meneses.
Five Heavy Bombers finished in double figures with Byron Villarias leading JRU with 15. Lopez had 13 points, alongside seven rebounds and eight assists.
Sweet-shooting Chris Cayabyab paced the Pirates in scoring with 25 markers in another losing cause.
JRU (85) — Villarias 15, Mabulac 13, Matute 13, Lopez 13, Carampil 11, Almario 7, Mendoza 4, Salaveria 3, Porter 2, Camasura 2, Dela Paz 2.
Lyceum (71) — Cayabyab 25, Ko 14, Guevarra 12, Laude 6, Francisco 5, Zamora 4, Azores 3, Ambohot 2, Mendoza 0, Martinez 0, Garcia 0, Alanes 0, Pascual 0, Mallari 0.
Quarterscores: 18-19, 42-39, 59-53, 85-71.