SAN JUAN City – Jose Rizal University sent shockwaves through the 11th FilOil Flying V Premier Cup by upsetting no less than defending champion De La Salle University, 85-81, in the opening game Monday (May 1) at the FilOil Flying V Centre. The Heavy Bombers used a crisp passing game and sharp outside shooting to successfully pull down a team that swept all its 10 games in winning last year’s title.
Former NCAA Juniors Most Valuable Player Darius Estrella connected on a triple to give JRU an imposing nine-point lead with four minutes left in the final period, 81-72. The Green Archers though would fight back behind to threaten on back-to-back baskets by Aljun Melecio with a minute left, 81-83.
DLSU then put up a key defensive stop but could not capitalize, painfully missing at least three point-blank attempts with Gio Lasquety ending the madness by collaring the defensive rebound plus a foul at the 12-second mark. The veteran forward made his first but missed his second free throw but MJ de la Virgen grabbed the offensive rebound and a foul, splitting his charities for the final count.
“If we continue to play like this we will go places and maybe make the top four of the NCAA,” said a satisfied Coach Vergel Meneses. “DLSU just got back because of our mistakes, we have to fix that next time.”
Bernabe Teodoro led JRU’s attack with 17 points on three triples. Jed Mendoza was next with 15 points and five rebounds.
Last year’s MVP Benoit Mbala put up his usually numbers of 22 points, 16 rebounds and two blocks to pace DLSU but it was not enough. Melecio followed with 17 points, five assists and two steals.
How They Scored:
JOSE RIZAL (85) – Teodoro 17, Mendoza 15, Estrella 11, de la Virgen 10, Grospe 8, Lasquety 7, Abdulwahab 6, Poutouochi 4, Sawat 4, Bordon 3, Mate 0.
DE LA SALLE (81) – Mbala 22, Melecio 17, R. Rivero 13, Tratter 9, P. Rivero 7, Montalbo 5, Go 2, Capacio 2, Santillan 2, Caracut 2, Gonzales 0.
Period Scores: 21-17, 42-42, 62-63, 85-81.