JRU Claims Crucial Victory Over EAC: A Turning Point in NCAA Season 99

In a pivotal clash with the fourth spot in the standings hanging in the balance, Jose Rizal University (JRU) secured a commanding 77-64 victory over Emilio Aguinaldo College (EAC) in the second round of the NCAA Season 99 Seniors Basketball on Tuesday at the Filoil Ecooil Centre. This win not only bolstered JRU’s position but also created a crucial cushion, separating them from the chasing EAC in the final four race.

Head coach Louie Gonzalez acknowledged the immense pressure leading up to the game and took extra steps to ease the burden on his squad. His focus centered on channeling the team’s efforts towards aspects they could control – defense, their distinctive playing style, and ball movement.

Gonzalez’s strategic approach paid dividends, as the Heavy Bombers displayed composure throughout the game, maintaining control of the lead and thwarting any attempts by the Generals to stage a comeback.

The turning point came in the fourth quarter when EAC leveled the match at 63-63 with 6:41 left on the clock. Sensing momentum shifting, JRU responded with a decisive 14-1 run to seal the victory at 77-64. Gonzalez credited the stellar performance in the crucial minutes to the collective effort of the team, especially singling out JL Delos Santos for his selfless decision to sit out the fourth quarter.

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Delos Santos, known for his all-around playmaking skills, contributed seven points, four rebounds, eight assists, two steals, and three blocks. Marwin Dionisio, celebrating his 24th birthday, emerged as a standout with 16 points, eight boards, two assists, and one steal.

The frontcourt duo of Joshua Guiab and Vince Sarmiento notched double-doubles, with Guiab recording 11 points and 11 boards, and Sarmiento contributing 10 points and 10 rebounds.

With this triumph, JRU improved to a 10-6 record, solidifying its hold on the fourth spot and inching closer to the third-placed Benilde. The next challenge awaits against San Beda University, another contender for a final four position, on Saturday at 9:30 a.m.

Nat Cosejo and JP Maguliano led the EAC with 12 points each, while King Gurtiza contributed 11 points off the bench. The Generals, now with an 8-8 record, dropped to the seventh spot in the standings, setting up a crucial clash against the streaking University of Perpetual Help System DALTA on Saturday at 3:00 p.m. The race for the final four intensifies, promising more thrilling matchups in NCAA Season 99.

image source: sports.inquirer.net

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