Heavy Bombers in F4, tear Golden Stags in Overtime

29 08 2007

This season’s host, Jose Rizal University, has landed in the Final Four map after four years of waiting.

San Sebastian blinked in its last game, loosing a playoff berth for the last seat in the semifinals.

The Heavy Bombers needed the extra period to post an important 80-73 win in overtime against the San Sebastian Stags last August 29 in the 83rd NCAA men’s basketball tournament at The Arena in San Juan City.

The Heavy Bombers, with the win, have improved to 7-4 to officially enter the Final Four. While the Golden Stags’ loss gave the Mapua Tech Cardinals a free ride into semifinal round.

They had their chance to secure the last twice-to-beat advantage if the Letran Knights lose their last two remaining assignments – San Beda and JRU.

The Golden Stags dropped to 4-7, allowing the Cardinals to remain in fourth place at 6-6.

After squandering an 11-point advantage at the end of first quarter, 23-12, the Heavy Bombers relinquished the lead but did not allow San Sebastian any breathing room, as JRU kept the game close in the 2nd half to force the game into overtime.

Big men James Sena and Jason Nocom delivered key baskets in the five-minute extension period.

Sena scored a jumper, followed by Nocom’s trey that provided the Heavy Bombers a 76-71 bubble with 2:14 minutes left. And JRU just milked the clock to take the win.

“It was an ugly win, but a win is still a win,” said JRU coach Ariel Vanguardia. “We are not satisfied yet. We will try to repeat against Letran to keep our chances alive for the twice-to-beat edge.”

Down by seven points, 64-71, at the 1:10 minute mark in regulation, JRU used a 7-0 run behind Mark Cagoco, Marvin Hayes and Mark Pradas to tie the count at 71-all. Pradas’ two free throws in the dying seconds made the overtime possible.

John Sena led JRU with 18 points, while Mark Cagoco contributed 13 points. Marvin Hayes chipped in for 11 points, with Pradas and John Wilson contributing 10 points each.

Ian Delgado and Jim Viray scored 17 and 12 points, respectively, for San Sebastian.

Individual scores:

JRU 80 – Sena 18, Cagoco 13, Hayes 11, Pradas 10, Wilson 10, Nocom 9, Cunanan 5, Agas 2, Bulangis 2, Kabigting 0, Se 0, Ramos 0.

San Sebastian 73 – Delgado 17, Viray 12, Bulawan 10, Del Rio 10, Aquino 9, Ballesteros 4, De Leon 4, Najorda 4, Quiamco 3, Raymundo 0, Zulueta 0.

Quarter scores: 23-12; 31-33; 55-58; 71-71; 80-73OT.

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