The Heartbreak Kids return: CSB’s rally falls short against JRU
MANILA, Philippines – Before the NCAA tournament started, College of St. Benilde Blazers head coach Gabby Velasco said that his team wants to shred the “Heartbreak Kids” label that they earned in Season 89, as he argued that they could have made the Final Four had they not lost so many close games.
But so far in Season 90, the script has not flipped.
After trailing by as much as 21 points to the JRU Heavy Bombers, the CSB Blazers retaliated and trimmed the deficit to two, only to come up short down the stretch and give Jose Rizal University its first win, 69-61, Monday evening, July 7, at the San Juan Arena.
Add another page to the book of Benilde’s gut-wrenching defeats.
With Jose Saavedra catching fire in the fourth quarter, the Blazers cut what was once a 21-point lead to seven, 60-53, with six minutes left on the clock.
His team in desperate need of a basket, Anthony Benavides knocked in a corner left 3-ball to end the Bombers’ seven-minute drought and extend the lead back to 10. However, St. Benilde countered quickly, leaning on a long-range shot and two free throws by Jonathan Grey to make the count 63-58.
With 3:30 to go, another miss by JRU was followed rookie Travis Jonson’s three-pointer, cutting the deficit to two in the process. Moments later, a split at the charity stripe by Juan Salaveria made the contest a three-point game, and the lead would extend to six, 67-61, after a crucial 3-ball by Bernabe Teodoro.
The Blazers managed to get some stops after, but failed to convert on offense. Furthermore, four misses at the free throw line essentially sealed CSB’s loss.
With less than 20 seconds remaining, Philip Paniamogan iced the contest by making two free throws, 69-61.
The victory improved JRU to 1-2, while CSB fell to 0-2.
Teodoro recorded 11 points on 5-of-11 shooting, with his lone 3-ball playing as the back-breaker for College of St. Benilde. Paniamogan, meanwhile, was limited to just eight markers while Michael Mabulac finished with 16.
Saavedra and Taha were the only two guys to score in double-figures for the Blazers, combining for 27 points.
Jose Rizal (69): Mabulac 16, Teodoro 11, Paniamogan 8, Sanchez 8, Benavides 6, Asuncion 6, Abdulwahab 6, Salaveria 5, Lasquety 3, Balagtas 0, Grospe 0.
CSB (61): Saavedra 15, Taha 11, Grey 9, Romero 7, Ongteco 5, Deles 4, Jonson 3, Bartolo 3, Nayve 2, Argamino 2, Sinco 0, Altamirano 0.
Quarter Scoring: 14-13, 41-26, 60-45, 69-61