In another heated affair, De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde banked on reigning MVP Will Gozum to turn back Jose Rizal University, 84-81, in the NCAA Season 99 on Tuesday.
Gozum dominated with 27 points, five rebounds, and two blocks while Miggy Corteza and Migs Oczon added 18 and 14, respectively.
Benilde cruised to its fifth win in a row to improve to 9-4 and claim the solo third spot while JRU dropped its second game in a row to go 8-6.
JRU worked its way back from a slow start in the third, trimming a lead as big as 15 to end the frame in a one-possession game as big man Joshua Guiab rallied the team.
JRU team captain Ry De La Rosa then opened the fourth frame with a booming triple to tie things up at 62-all despite the Heavy Bombers playing sans head coach Louie Gonzales, who was ejected late in the second quarter after two technical fouls.
But the Blazers would restore order by unleashing a scorching 13-0 run capped by an and-one basket from Gozum as Benilde established another double-digit lead, 75-62.
Guiab again took matters into his own hand, fueling a personal 7-0 run to pull JRU to within four, 81-77, before his putback made it a two-point deficit, 83-81, with 52.6 ticks left.
JRU had a chance to get the lead back but JL Delos Santos was wide on his triple, which was followed by a split from Robi Nayve that gave Benilde an 84-81 cushion.
Gozum’s game-winning block on the returning Marwin Dionisio delivered the finish for the Blazers.
Guiab posted 23 points and 14 boards for the Heavy Bombers.
—JMB, GMA Integrated News