JRU locks down Final Four slot, Arellano stays in playoff contention

JRU Heavy Bombers 62 – MU Cardinals 58

The JRU Heavy Bombers missed out on the Final Four last season. They finished a far fifth and were clearly a tier below the top four teams last year. This year, JRU made sure to be part of the cast for the playoffs. They survived a run from the MU Cardinals to secure the third spot in the Final Four.

JRU relied on their balanced scoring and tough defense to pull out the win over the upset-seeking Cardinals. MU kept within step of JRU all throughout the game. The Cardinals were within two points in the final minutes of the second quarter. But Ervin Gorospe and Jed Mendoza hit back-to-back baskets to increase their lead to to six points. JRU then focused on the defensive end as they foiled Andoy Estrella’s comeback attempts to hold on for the win.

Teytey Teodoro dropped 19 points to lead the Heavy Bombers. Mendoza added 10 points while Gorospe scored eight. Almel Orquina scored 14 points as the Cardinals fall to 3-12 for the season.

AU Chiefs 85 – SSC-R Golden Stags 79

The Arellano Chiefs are still in the running for the Final Four. They tied the San Sebastian Stags at 7-9 as both teams are now in fifth place behind the Letran Knights. The Chiefs needed all the help they could get in the end game to pull out the win.

Kent Salado got the ball rolling early for the Chiefs. He led to an early 15-7 lead in the first quarter. Salado continued to score and create for his team throughout the next two quarters as Arellano took an eight point lead heading into the final period. That was when disaster struck for the Chiefs. Salado got injured on a rebound play and had to leave the game to nurse his leg. San Sebastian took advantage as they pulled to within three points, 62-65 in the fourth period. But Arellano got production from Michael Canete, Zach Nichols and Levi Dela Cruz. The three closed out the game on a 7-2 run to pull away for the win.

Salado finished the game with 22 points and six assists. Canete followed his lead with 15 points. Nichols and Dela Cruz combined for 19 points. Both Arellano and San Sebastian still have two games to play in their race for the last Final Four slot.

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