MANDALUYONG CITY – Rizal Technological University needed all the breaks they could get to pull out the 106-97 overtime win over a very tough Eulogio “Amang” Rodriguez Institute of Science and Technology at the resumption of the 16th National Athletic Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities (NAASCU) at the RTU Gym Sunday (September 11). The wild finish stretched the Blue Thunder’s win streak to three games while keeping the Red Fox winless in seven games.
Andreas Cahilig hit what seemed was the game winner as his jumper put EARIST ahead with six seconds to play in regulation. RTU quickly rushed down the floor with Kerr Bangeles ramming into Cahilig, drawing the latter’s fifth and final foul.
Bangeles was shaken and deemed unfit to take his free throws so Coach Johnedel Cardel nominated Cholo Senires, who missed the first but made the second to close in with three ticks left on the clock, 85-86. Suddenly, Johndel Flores stole the inbound pass from Eros Baculpo, driving the baseline and getting fouled by Baculpo exactly at the buzzer!
Flores gave the fans anxious moments as he missed the first gift shot but sent the game into overtime by calmly sinking the second, 86-86. The overtime was a different story as a broken EARIST quintet lapsed into a maze of turnovers leading to easy transition baskets by the Blue Thunder who suddenly saw themselves ahead by 12 markers with 1:46 to play, 103-91.
It was a sorry loss for the Red Fox which enjoyed a four-point with 34 seconds to go in regulation after a Bryan Hilario triple, 84-80. Bangeles responded with back-to-back baskets to tie the game and set the stage of the mad windup.
Cyrus Tabi shook off a poor start to score 13 of his 21 points in the fourth period and overtime to go with five assists and four steals. Bangeles hit the crucial shots to finish with 18 markers despite sitting out the overtime.
Baculpo finished with 22 points and 11 rebounds but it was negated by his errors down the stretch. Tolits Natividad and Hilario banged in 21 and 20 points as the Red Fox bungled their best chance to notch their first win as a member of the NAASCU.
How They Scored:
RIZAL TECHNOLOGICAL (106) – Tabi 21, Bangeles 18, Estoce 16, Senires 14, Riva 10, Reyes 9, Monghit 8, Flores 6, Tilos 2, Asuncion 2, Liquinan 0, Lagman 0.
E A R I S T (97) – Baculpo 22, Natividad 21, Hilario 20, Cahilig 8, Pancho 7, Joyo 6, Cabalsi 6, del Rio 3, Llobrera 3, Gemino 1, Martinez 0, Montealegre 0, Ramos 0, Galvez 0, Bandalan 0.
Period Scores: 22-17, 42-36, 61-59, 86-86 (reg.), 106-97 (OT).