Dela Paz hits game-winner as JRU stuns NU in OT

By Ivan Saldajeno

SAN JUAN, MM—Cris Dela Paz played hero as he nailed the go-ahead basket to give JRU a 70-68 victory over NU in the nightcap of the FilOil Flying V Preseason Premier Cup games on Wednesday at the FilOil Flying V Arena.

In a game originally scheduled for last week, the Heavy Bombers completed a comeback from a late seven-point deficit as Dela Paz scored a fadeaway baseline jumper with 2.4 seconds left in extra time.

The Bulldogs, who trailed, 29-32, at halftime, put up a second half rally and took a 60-53 lead with 2:58 left in regulation.

But timely baskets from Abdel Poutouochi sparked a 10-0 Bombers run that put them up, 63-60, with 15.5 seconds left in regulation.

Jjay Alejandro forced overtime as he drained a quick three-pointer with 12.2 seconds left. JRU failed to convert two game-winners in the last play.

Dave Sanchez opened the overtime period with a field goal and a free throw to put the Bombers up, 66-63.

Jeoff Javillonar scored underneath to cut the lead to one, 66-65.

Ervin Grospe hit his own basket to stretch the lead to three, 68-65.

JRU had a chance to extend the lead as Dela Paz was fouled after NU failed to convert, but he muffed two free throws, setting up a fallaway triple from Gelo Alolino that tied the game, 68-all, with 57 seconds left.

The Bulldogs failed to take advantage of a bungled Heavy Bombers offensive, leading to Dela Paz's game-winner.

Alolino almost stole the win away, but his buzzer-beating triple rattled out.

Tey Teodoro led JRU, which is now in solo second spot in Group A at 5-1, with 20 points and four rebounds, while Dave Sanchez added a double-double of 14 points and 11 rebounds. Dela Paz only finished with five points on 2-of-9 shooting, but his last made field goal became pivotal.

Reden Celda provided the offensive spark for NU, which slipped to third place at 4-2, with 19 points on 9-of-15 shooting along with six rebounds, two assists, and two steals.

Box Scores:

JRU 70-Teodoro 20, Sanchez 14, Poutouochi 12, Balagtas 5, Dela Paz 5, Lasquety 4, Grospe 4, Abdulwahab 2, Aurin 2, Pontejos 2, Dela Virgen 0

NU 68-Celda 19, Alolino 11, Alejandro 10, Gaye 8, Javillonar 8, Abatayo 7, Neypes 4, Rangel 1, Salim 0, Diputado 0, Morido 0, Lastimosa 0, De Castro 0

Quarterscores: 19-15, 32-29, 41-47, 63-63, 70-68