TAGUIG CITY – Rizal Technological University exhibited remarkable patience in rallying to subdue AMA University, 96-93, at the 16th National Athletic Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities (NAASCU) basketball games at the Enderun Colleges Gym Wednesday (September 7). Falling behind early by as much as 17 points, 16-33, the Blue Thunder slowly came back behind the triple double performance of team captain Storm Riva to even their win-loss record a 3-3.
Riva suddenly became offensive-minded at the right time to give RTU the lead for good with a basket at the 7:25 mark of the fourth period, 73-71. He would then proceed to hit back-to-back shots for more cushion nearing the five-minute mark, 79-73.
The Titans kept within striking distance as RTU’s Cyrus Tabi and debuting AMA guard Jason Riley traded baskets as the Blue Thunder clung to a two-point advantage with seven seconds remaining. Cholo Senires then halved his free throws and they held their breath as Daniel Salonga missed an off-balanced triple at the buzzer that could have sent the game into overtime.
The team immediately dedicated the game to their head coach Johnedel Cardel who was rushed to the hospital on the eve of the game due to gallstone problems. In his place, assistant coach Mandel Martirez called the shots along with fellow assistants Goy Bagares and Oliver Santos.
Riva ended up scoring eight of his 14 points in the fourth period on top of 10 rebounds and 12 assists for the first triple double of the season. Tabi and Kerr Bangeles kept the Blue Thunder in the contest, fueling their rallies with 21 points each.
Jayson Jordan led AMA with 24 points and 17 rebounds. Salonga followed with 17 points.
How They Scored:
RIZAL TECHNOLOGICAL (96) – Tabi 21, Bangeles 21, Senires 14, Riva 14, Estoce 12, Flores 6, Lagman 4, Liquinan 2, Asuncion 2, Tilos 0, Monghit 0, Reyes 0, Lutia 0, Grande 0.
A M A (93) – Jordan 24, Salonga 17, Magpantay 15, Ortega 12, Riley 11, Macaranas 9, Calma 5, Dulnoan 0.
Period Scores: 16-31, 45-48, 67-69, 96-93.