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JRU shuts down Perpetual Help for important win

Ric Arlos
By Ivan Saldajeno

SAN JUAN, MM—With the team's back against the wall, JRU scored a 62-60 victory against Perpetual Help in a huge NCAA battle at the FilOil Flying V Arena on Friday.

The Heavy Bombers came back from 14 points down and stymied the Altas in the fourth quarter to inch close in the Final Four race.

Perpetual Help opened a 36-22 lead in the second quarter behind Scottie Thompson and Gerald Dizon.

But Paolo Pontejos sparked JRU's comeback to take a 55-52 edge entering the fourth.

The Altas started the payoff period on a 7-1 run to retake the advantage, 59-56, with 7:05 left.

But defense dictated the game for the Bombers as they kept the Altas scoreless for nearly three minutes, although they made one field goal in that span courtesy of Ervin Grospe.

Bright Akhuetie made a free throw with 4:23 left to stop the Perpetual Help drought.

But Abdel Poutouochi scored the equalizer in the next play and Grospe converted the go-ahead basket for JRU, while their teammates stifled their opponents in the last moments.

Pontejos scored 19 points off the bench, 16 coming in the third quarter, along with three rebounds and one block for the Heavy Bombers, who tied the Mapua Cardinals for fifth place at 10-6, a half-game behind fourth-running Arellano Chiefs. The Chiefs are set to face the Letran Knights in the nightcap later Friday.

Dizon led the Altas, who fell to third at 11-5, with 15 markers.

Box Scores:

JRU 62-Pontejos 19, Poutouochi 12, Grospe 12, Teodoro 12, Lasquety 4, Cruz 2, Dela Virgen 1, Dela Paz 0, Sanchez 0, Balagtas 0, Astilla 0, Estrella 0

Perpetual Help 60-Dizon 15, Thompson 12, Akhuetie 9, Dagangon 7, Eze 6, Coronel 4, Gallardo 4, Oliveria 3, Ylagan 0, Tamayo 0, Sadiwa 0

Quarterscores: 11-17, 26-38, 55-52, 62-60

Follow the writer on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno