MAKATI CITY – A little tinkering with the starting five worked well for Rizal Technological University as they held off the City University of Pasay, 95-79, at the 16th National Athletic Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities (NAASCU) at the Makati Coliseum Monday evening (September 12). Coach Johnedel Cardel decided to move Roque Estoce to the bench and the strategy worked well as the Blue Thunder cruised to their fourth straight victory and a 6-3 win-loss card.
Estoce did not disappoint the team as he led the RTU reserves in sustaining the attack as the starters took their rest. Estoce and Cyrus Tabi joined forces in pushing the Blue Thunder to their biggest lead at the close of the third period, 80-51.
However, RTU relaxed a bit too early and allowed the Eagles to come clawing back and reducing the margin to only 11 markers entering the final two minutes, 75-86, behind James Solero, Janno Penaredondo and JV Pervera. That was the best that they could muster with time not on the side of CUP as crucial baskets preserved the win for the Blue Thunder.
Estoce was named as Best Player with 17 points and five rebounds. Tabi paced RTU with 23 points, nine rebounds, five assists and three steals, highlighted by 12 points in the third period.
Solero paced the Eagles with 19 points and 12 rebounds but it was not enough as they remained the only winless squad in tournament after eight games. Penaredondo was next with 13 while Pervera added 12 markers.
RTU is now tied with De Ocampo Memorial College for Fourth and Fifth Place. The top two teams after the elimination round will be seeded straight into the semifinals while the third and fourth teams will be make the quarterfinals and avoid the first round knockout games involving the fifth to eighth-ranked teams.
How They Scored:
RIZAL TECHNOLOGICAL (95) – Tabi 23, Bangeles 18, Estoce 17, Senires 14, Monghit 12, Riva 5, Flores 4, Asuncion 2, Liquinan 0, Tilos 0, Banaag 0, Lagman 0, Reyes 0, Grande 0, Saborrido 0.
PASAY (79) – Solero 19, Penaredondo 13, Pervera 12, Erice 10, J de la Cruz 6, Gatchalian 6, Catarbas 4, Laxamana 3, Castaneda 2, Macasil 2, Acidre 2, Encina 0, R de la Cruz 0, Lizardo 0, Villagomez 0.
Period Scores: 21-23, 47-40, 80-51, 95-79.